Misty D Bechtel

University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, United States

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Publications (3)7.36 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Control of intracellular calcium concentrations ([Ca2 +]i) is essential for neuronal function, and the plasma membrane Ca2 +-ATPase (PMCA) is crucial for the maintenance of low [Ca2 +]i. We previously reported on loss of PMCA activity in brain synaptic membranes during aging. Gangliosides are known to modulate Ca2 + homeostasis and signal transduction in neurons. In the present study, we observed age-related changes in the ganglioside composition of synaptic plasma membranes. This led us to hypothesize that alterations in ganglioside species might contribute to the age-associated loss of PMCA activity. To probe the relationship between changes in endogenous ganglioside content or composition and PMCA activity in membranes of cortical neurons, we induced depletion of gangliosides by treating neurons with d-threo-1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol (d-PDMP). This caused a marked decrease in the activity of PMCA, which suggested a direct correlation between ganglioside content and PMCA activity. Neurons treated with neuraminidase exhibited an increase in GM1 content, a loss in poly-sialoganglioside content, and a decrease in PMCA activity that was greater than that produced by d-PDMP treatment. Thus, it appeared that poly-sialogangliosides had a stimulatory effect whereas mono-sialogangliosides had the opposite effect. Our observations add support to previous reports of PMCA regulation by gangliosides by demonstrating that manipulations of endogenous ganglioside content and species affect the activity of PMCA in neuronal membranes. Furthermore, our studies suggest that age-associated loss in PMCA activity may result in part from changes in the lipid environment of this Ca2+ transporter.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes 05/2014; 1838(5):1255-1265. · 3.39 Impact Factor
  • Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes. 01/2014; 1838(5):1255–1265.
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    ABSTRACT: Precise regulation of free intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations [Ca(2+) ](i) is critical for normal neuronal function, and alterations in Ca(2+) homeostasis are associated with brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases. One of the most important proteins controlling [Ca(2+) ](i) is the plasma membrane Ca(2+) -ATPase (PMCA), the high-affinity transporter that fine tunes the cytosolic nanomolar levels of Ca(2+) . We previously found that PMCA protein in synaptic plasma membranes (SPMs) is decreased with advancing age and the decrease in enzyme activity is much greater than that in protein levels. In this study, we isolated raft and non-raft fractions from rat brain SPMs and used quantitative mass spectrometry to show that the specialized lipid microdomains in SPMs, the rafts, contain 60% of total PMCA, comprised all four isoforms. The raft PMCA pool had the highest specific activity and this decreased progressively with age. The reduction in PMCA protein could not account for the dramatic activity loss. Addition of excess calmodulin to the assay did not restore PMCA activity to that in young brains. Analysis of the major raft lipids revealed a slight age-related increase in cholesterol levels and such increases might enhance membrane lipid order and prevent further loss of PMCA activity.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 08/2012; · 3.97 Impact Factor