Doctor of Philosophy, University of California San Diego (2010)
Liqun Luo, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
The trafficking of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) to and from synapses is crucial for synaptic plasticity. Previous work has demonstrated that AMPARs undergo activity-dependent ubiquitination by the E3 ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-1, which promotes their internalization and degradation in lysosomes. Here, we define the molecular mechanisms involved in ubiquitination and deubiquitination of AMPARs. We report that Nedd4-1 is rapidly redistributed to dendritic spines in response to AMPAR activation and not in response to NMDA receptor (NMDAR) activation in cultured rat neurons. In contrast, NMDAR activation directly antagonizes Nedd4-1 function by promoting the deubiquitination of AMPARs. We show that NMDAR activation causes the rapid dephosphorylation and activation of the deubiquitinating enzyme (DUB) USP8. Surface AMPAR levels and synaptic strength are inversely regulated by Nedd4-1 and USP8. Strikingly, we show that homeostatic downscaling of synaptic strength is accompanied by an increase and decrease in Nedd4-1 and USP8 protein levels, respectively. Furthermore, we show that Nedd4-1 is required for homeostatic loss of surface AMPARs and downscaling of synaptic strength. This study provides the first mechanistic evidence for rapid and opposing activity-dependent control of a ubiquitin ligase and DUB at mammalian CNS synapses. We propose that the dynamic regulation of these opposing forces is critical in maintaining synapses and scaling them during homeostatic plasticity.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2452-14.2014
View details for Web of Science ID 000346191500011
View details for PubMedID 25505317
Extracellular signaling between cells is often transduced via receptors that reside at the cell membrane. In neurons this receptor-mediated signaling can promote a variety of cellular events such as differentiation, axon outgrowth and guidance, and synaptic development and function. Endocytic membrane trafficking of receptors ensures that the strength and duration of an extracellular signal is properly regulated. The covalent modification of membrane proteins by ubiquitin is a key biological mechanism controlling receptor internalization and endocytic sorting to recycling and degradative pathways in many cell types. In this review we highlight recent findings regarding the ubiquitin-dependent trafficking and turnover of receptors in neurons and the implications for neuronal development and function.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.mcn.2011.08.006
View details for Web of Science ID 000302202100014
View details for PubMedID 21884797
The accurate trafficking of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) to and from the synapse is a critical component of learning and memory in the brain, whereas dysfunction of AMPAR trafficking is hypothesized to be an underlying mechanism of Alzheimer's disease. Previous work has shown that ubiquitination of integral membrane proteins is a common posttranslational modification used to mediate endocytosis and endocytic sorting of surface proteins in eukaryotic cells. Here we report that mammalian AMPARs become ubiquitinated in response to their activation. Using a mutant of GluA1 that is unable to be ubiquitinated at lysines on its C-terminus, we demonstrate that ubiquitination is required for internalization of surface AMPARs and their trafficking to the lysosome in response to the AMPAR agonist AMPA but not for internalization of AMPARs in response to the NMDA receptor agonist NMDA. Through overexpression or RNA interference-mediated knockdown, we identify that a specific E3 ligase, Nedd4-1 (neural-precursor cell-expressed developmentally downregulated gene 4-1), is necessary for this process. Finally, we show that ubiquitination of GluA1 by Nedd4-1 becomes more prevalent as neurons mature. Together, these data show that ubiquitination of GluA1-containing AMPARs by Nedd4-1 mediates their endocytosis and trafficking to the lysosome. Furthermore, these results provide insight into how hippocampal neurons regulate AMPAR trafficking and degradation with high specificity in response to differing neuronal signaling cues and suggest that changes to this pathway may occur as neurons mature.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3686-10.2010
View details for Web of Science ID 000285089100033
View details for PubMedID 21148011
Protein degradation via the ubiquitin proteasome system has been shown to regulate changes in synaptic strength that underlie multiple forms of synaptic plasticity. It is plausible, therefore, that the ubiquitin proteasome system is itself regulated by synaptic activity. By utilizing live-cell imaging strategies we report the rapid and dynamic regulation of the proteasome in hippocampal neurons by synaptic activity. We find that the blockade of action potentials (APs) with tetrodotoxin inhibited the activity of the proteasome, whereas the up-regulation of APs with bicuculline dramatically increased the activity of the proteasome. In addition, the regulation of the proteasome is dependent upon external calcium entry in part through N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors and L-type voltage-gated calcium channels and requires the activity of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). Using in vitro and in vivo assays we find that CaMKII stimulates proteasome activity and directly phosphorylates Rpt6, a subunit of the 19 S (PA700) subcomplex of the 26 S proteasome. Our data provide a novel mechanism whereby CaMKII may regulate the proteasome in neurons to facilitate remodeling of synaptic connections through protein degradation.
View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M109.021956
View details for Web of Science ID 000269969600046
View details for PubMedID 19638347