Differential roles of Rap1 and Rap2 small GTPases in neurite retraction and synapse elimination in hippocampal spiny neurons

ArticleinJournal of Neurochemistry 100(1):118-31 · February 2007with41 Reads
DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2006.04195.x · Source: PubMed
The Rap family of small GTPases is implicated in the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, particularly synaptic depression. Here we studied the role of Rap in neuronal morphogenesis and synaptic transmission in cultured neurons. Constitutively active Rap2 expressed in hippocampal pyramidal neurons caused decreased length and complexity of both axonal and dendritic branches. In addition, Rap2 caused loss of dendritic spines and spiny synapses, and an increase in filopodia-like protrusions and shaft synapses. These Rap2 morphological effects were absent in aspiny interneurons. In contrast, constitutively active Rap1 had no significant effect on axon or dendrite morphology. Dominant-negative Rap mutants increased dendrite length, indicating that endogenous Rap restrains dendritic outgrowth. The amplitude and frequency of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate (AMPA)-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) decreased in hippocampal neurons transfected with active Rap1 or Rap2, associated with reduced surface and total levels of AMPA receptor subunit GluR2. Finally, increasing synaptic activity with GABA(A) receptor antagonists counteracted Rap2's inhibitory effect on dendrite growth, and masked the effects of Rap1 and Rap2 on AMPA-mediated mEPSCs. Rap1 and Rap2 thus have overlapping but distinct actions that potentially link the inhibition of synaptic transmission with the retraction of axons and dendrites.
    • "Critically, overexpression of RapGAP, a protein that inhibits Rap activation, blocked the effect of 17í µí»½-estradiol on spine density [25]. In contrast, overexpression of constitutively active Rap2 causes a loss of dendritic spine density and an increase in the number of filopodia-like protrusions in culture hippocampal neurons [71]. Consistent with these observations in vitro, mice that express a constitutively active Rap2 display fewer dendritic spines and impaired learning [72]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Structural plasticity of excitatory synapses is a vital component of neuronal development, synaptic plasticity, and behaviour. Abnormal development or regulation of excitatory synapses has also been strongly implicated in many neurodevelopmental, psychiatric, and neurodegenerative disorders. In the mammalian forebrain, the majority of excitatory synapses are located on dendritic spines, specialized dendritic protrusions that are enriched in actin. Research over recent years has begun to unravel the complexities involved in the regulation of dendritic spine structure. The small GTPase family of proteins have emerged as key regulators of structural plasticity, linking extracellular signals with the modulation of dendritic spines, which potentially underlies their ability to influence cognition. Here we review a number of studies that examine how small GTPases are activated and regulated in neurons and furthermore how they can impact actin dynamics, and thus dendritic spine morphology. Elucidating this signalling process is critical for furthering our understanding of the basic mechanisms by which information is encoded in neural circuits but may also provide insight into novel targets for the development of effective therapies to treat cognitive dysfunction seen in a range of neurological disorders.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016
    • "n = 10 cells from three independent experiments in (D), (E), (F), (G), (I) and (J) (Student's t-test; *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, ***P < 0.001). [16], a negative regulator of dendrite growth [35]. Based on the aforementioned facts, in future studies, it will be important to characterize a potential N4BP3-Nedd4 complex in neurons and analyze its impact on PTEN and Rap2 function during neurite development. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Circuit formation in the nervous system essentially relies on the proper development of neurons and their processes. In this context, the ubiquitin ligase Nedd4 is a crucial modulator of axonal and dendritic branching. Herein we characterize the Nedd4-binding protein 3 (N4BP3), a Fezzin family member, during nerve cell development. In developing rat primary hippocampal neurons, endogenous N4BP3 localizes to neuronal processes, including axons and dendrites. Transient in vitro knockdown of N4BP3 in hippocampal cultures during neuritogenesis results in impaired branching of axons and dendrites. In line with these findings, in vivo knockdown of n4bp3 in Xenopus laevis embryos results in severe alteration of cranial nerve branching. We introduce N4BP3 as a novel molecular element for the correct branching of neurites in developing neurons and propose a central role for an N4BP3-Nedd4 complex in neurite branching and circuit formation.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013
    • "Indeed, Rap2 is activated in HUVECs by Epac1 upon stimulation with 007-AM (data not shown), although it remains to be established whether the Epacactivated pool of Rap2 affects the barrier resistance. On the other hand, opposite effects of Rap1 and Rap2 on neurite morphology have been clearly established454647484950. Compensatory crosstalk between G-proteins is not an uncommon theme. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rap1 and Rap2 are closely related proteins of the Ras family of small G-proteins. Rap1 is well known to regulate cell-cell adhesion. Here, we have analysed the effect of Rap-mediated signalling on endothelial permeability using electrical impedance measurements of HUVEC monolayers and subsequent determination of the barrier resistance, which is a measure for the ease with which ions can pass cell junctions. In line with its well-established effect on cell-cell junctions, depletion of Rap1 decreases, whereas activation of Rap1 increases barrier resistance. Despite its high sequence homology with Rap1, depletion of Rap2 has an opposite, enhancing, effect on barrier resistance. This effect can be mimicked by depletion of the Rap2 specific activator RasGEF1C and the Rap2 effector MAP4K4, establishing Rap2 signalling as an independent pathway controlling barrier resistance. As simultaneous depletion or activation of both Rap1 and Rap2 results in a barrier resistance comparable to control cells, Rap1 and Rap2 control barrier resistance in a reciprocal manner. This Rap1-antagonizing effect of Rap2 is established independent of junctional actin formation. These data establish that endothelial barrier resistance is determined by the combined antagonistic actions of Rap1 and Rap2.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013
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