349 research outputs found

    Effects of the neuronal phosphoprotein synapsin I on actin polymerization. II. Analytical interpretation of kinetic curves.

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    The general features of the kinetics of actin polymerization are investigated by mathematical models, with the aim of identifying the kinetically relevant parameters in the process and detecting and interpreting the alterations occurring in actin polymerization under various experimental conditions. Polymerization curves, obtained by following the increase in fluorescence of actin derivatized with N-(1-pyrenyl) iodoacetamide, are fitted using analytical equations derived from biochemical models of the actin polymerization process. Particular attention is given to the evaluation of the effects of the neuronal phosphoprotein synapsin I. The models obtained under various ionic conditions reveal that synapsin I interacts with actin in a very complex fashion, sharing some of the properties of classical nucleating proteins but displaying also actions not described previously for other actin-binding proteins. Synapsin I appears to bind G-actin with a very high stoichiometry (1:2-4), and the complex behaves as an F-actin nucleus, producing actin filaments under conditions where spontaneous polymerization is negligible. These actions of synapsin I are markedly affected by site-specific phosphorylation of the protein. An original transformation of the fluorescence data, which estimates the disappearance rate of actin monomer toward the critical concentration, is presented and shown to be of general usefulness for the study of actin-binding proteins

    Phosphorylation of Spinophilin Modulates Its Interaction with Actin Filaments

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    Spinophilin is a protein phosphatase 1 (PP1)- and actin-binding protein that modulates excitatory synaptic transmission and dendritic spine morphology. We report that spinophilin is phosphorylated in vitro by protein kinase A (PKA). Phosphorylation of spinophilin was stimulated by treatment of neostriatal neurons with a dopamine D1 receptor agonist or with forskolin, consistent with spinophilin being a substrate for PKA in intact cells. Using tryptic phosphopeptide mapping, site-directed mutagenesis, and microsequencing analysis, we identified two major sites of phosphorylation, Ser-94 and Ser-177, that are located within the actin-binding domain of spinophilin. Phosphorylation of spinophilin by PKA modulated the association between spinophilin and the actin cytoskeleton. Following subcellular fractionation, unphosphorylated spinophilin was enriched in the postsynaptic density, whereas a pool of phosphorylated spinophilin was found in the cytosol. F-actin co-sedimentation and overlay analysis revealed that phosphorylation of spinophilin reduced the stoichiometry of the spinophilin-actin interaction. In contrast, the ability of spinophilin to bind to PP1 remained unchanged. Taken together, our studies suggest that phosphorylation of spinophilin by PKA modulates the anchoring of the spinophilin-PP1 complex within dendritic spines, thereby likely contributing to the efficacy and plasticity of synaptic transmission

    Effects of the neuronal phosphoprotein synapsin I on actin polymerization. I. Evidence for a phosphorylation-dependent nucleating effect.

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    Synapsin I is a synaptic vesicle-specific phosphoprotein which is able to bind and bundle actin filaments in a phosphorylation-dependent fashion. In the present paper we have analyzed the effects of synapsin I on the kinetics of actin polymerization and their modulation by site-specific phosphorylation of synapsin I. We found that dephosphorylated synapsin I accelerates the initial rate of actin polymerization and decreases the rate of filament elongation. The effect was observed at both low and high ionic strength, was specific for synapsin I, and was still present when polymerization was triggered by F-actin seeds. Dephosphorylated synapsin I was also able to induce actin polymerization and bundle formation in the absence of KCl and MgCl2. The effects of synapsin I were strongly decreased after its phosphorylation by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II. These observations suggest that synapsin I has a phosphorylation-dependent nucleating effect on actin polymerization. The data are compatible with the view that changes in the phosphorylation state of synapsin I play a functional role in regulating the interactions between the nerve terminal cytoskeleton and synaptic vesicles in various stages of the exoendocytotic cycle

    Beyond the Dopamine Receptor: Regulation and Roles of Serine/Threonine Protein Phosphatases

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    Dopamine plays an important modulatory role in the central nervous system, helping to control critical aspects of motor function and reward learning. Alteration in normal dopaminergic neurotransmission underlies multiple neurological diseases including schizophrenia, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Modulation of dopamine-regulated signaling pathways is also important in the addictive actions of most drugs of abuse. Our studies over the last 30 years have focused on the molecular actions of dopamine acting on medium spiny neurons, the predominant neurons of the neostriatum. Striatum-enriched phosphoproteins, particularly dopamine and adenosine 3′:5′-monophosphate-regulated phosphoprotein of 32 kDa (DARPP-32), regulator of calmodulin signaling (RCS), and ARPP-16, mediate pleiotropic actions of dopamine. Notably, each of these proteins, either directly or indirectly, regulates the activity of one of the three major subclasses of serine/threonine protein phosphatases, PP1, PP2B, and PP2A, respectively. For example, phosphorylation of DARPP-32 at Thr34 by protein kinase A results in potent inhibition of PP1, leading to potentiation of dopaminergic signaling at multiple steps from the dopamine receptor to the nucleus. The discovery of DARPP-32 and its emergence as a critical molecular integrator of striatal signaling will be discussed, as will more recent studies that highlight novel roles for RCS and ARPP-16 in dopamine-regulated striatal signaling pathways

    A calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase from mammalian brain that phosphorylates Synapsin I: partial purification and characterization

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    A calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, which phosphorylates a synaptic vesicle-associated protein designated Synapsin I, has been shown to be present in both soluble and particulate fractions of rat brain homogenates. In the present study, the particulate activity was solubilized by washing with a low ionic strength solution, and the enzymes from the two fractions were partially purified by ion exchange chromatography and calmodulin-Sepharose affinity chromatography. By each of several criteria, the partially purified enzymes from the two sources were indistinguishable. These criteria included specificity for various substrate proteins, concentration dependence of activation by calcium and calmodulin, pH dependence, and apparent affinities for the substrates Synapsin I and ATP. The mild conditions that released the particulate enzyme indicated that it was not tightly bound to the membrane and suggested that it may exist in a dynamic equilibrium between soluble and particulate-bound states. The partially purified enzyme preparations from both the soluble and particulate fractions contained three proteins that were phosphorylated in the presence of calcium and calmodulin, a 50-kilodalton (Kd) protein and two proteins in the 60-Kd region. When compared by phosphopeptide mapping and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, the proteins were indistinguishable from three proteins of corresponding molecular weights that were shown by Schulman and Greengard (Schulman, H., and P. Greengard (1978) Nature 271: 478-479) to be prominent substrates for calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase in a crude particulate preparation from rat brain. The 50-Kd substrate was the major Coomassie blue staining protein in both partially purified enzyme preparations. The peak of this protein coincided with that of enzyme activity during DEAE-cellulose and calmodulin-Sepharose chromatography. These results suggest that the 50-Kd phosphoprotein may be an autophosphorylatable subunit of the Synapsin I Kinase or may exist in a complex with it

    Structural domains involved in the regulation of transmitter release by synapsins

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    Author Posting. © Society for Neuroscience, 2005. This article is posted here by permission of Society for Neuroscience for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Neuroscience 25 (2005): 2658-2669, doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4278-04.2005.Synapsins are a family of neuron-specific phosphoproteins that regulate neurotransmitter release by associating with synaptic vesicles. Synapsins consist of a series of conserved and variable structural domains of unknown function. We performed a systematic structure-function analysis of the various domains of synapsin by assessing the actions of synapsin fragments on neurotransmitter release, presynaptic ultrastructure, and the biochemical interactions of synapsin. Injecting a peptide derived from domain A into the squid giant presynaptic terminal inhibited neurotransmitter release in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. This peptide had no effect on vesicle pool size, synaptic depression, or transmitter release kinetics. In contrast, a peptide fragment from domain C reduced the number of synaptic vesicles in the periphery of the active zone and increased the rate and extent of synaptic depression. This peptide also slowed the kinetics of neurotransmitter release without affecting the number of docked vesicles. The domain C peptide, as well as another peptide from domain E that is known to have identical effects on vesicle pool size and release kinetics, both specifically interfered with the binding of synapsins to actin but not with the binding of synapsins to synaptic vesicles. This suggests that both peptides interfere with release by preventing interactions of synapsins with actin. Thus, interactions of domains C and E with the actin cytoskeleton may allow synapsins to perform two roles in regulating release, whereas domain A has an actin-independent function that regulates transmitter release in a phosphorylation-sensitive manner.This work was supported by grants from The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research (P.G., F.B.), National Institutes of Health Grants NS-21624 (G.J.A.) and MH39327 (P.G.), the Italian Ministry of Education (F.B.), Consorzio Italiano Biotecnologie (F.B.), and a Ramon y Cajal fellowship (S.H.)

    Argonaute 2 in dopamine 2 receptor–expressing neurons regulates cocaine addiction

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    Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that exerts its effects by increasing the levels of released dopamine in the striatum, followed by stable changes in gene transcription, mRNA translation, and metabolism within medium spiny neurons in the striatum. The multiple changes in gene and protein expression associated with cocaine addiction suggest the existence of a mechanism that facilitates a coordinated cellular response to cocaine. Here, we provide evidence for a key role of miRNAs in cocaine addiction. We show that Argonaute 2 (Ago2), which plays an important role in miRNA generation and execution of miRNA-mediated gene silencing, is involved in regulation of cocaine addiction. Deficiency of Ago2 in dopamine 2 receptor (Drd2)–expressing neurons greatly reduces the motivation to self-administer cocaine in mice. We identified a distinct group of miRNAs that is specifically regulated by Ago2 in the striatum. Comparison of miRNAs affected by Ago2 deficiency with miRNAs that are enriched and/or up-regulated in Drd2-neurons in response to cocaine identified a set of miRNAs that are likely to play a role in cocaine addiction
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