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The activation of neuronal plasma membrane Ca channels stimulates many intracellular responses. Scaffolding proteins can preferentially couple specific Ca channels to distinct downstream outputs, such as increased gene expression, but the molecular mechanisms that underlie the exquisite specificity of these signaling pathways are incompletely understood. Here, we show that complexes containing CaMKII and Shank3, a postsynaptic scaffolding protein known to interact with L-type calcium channels (LTCCs), can be specifically coimmunoprecipitated from mouse forebrain extracts. Activated purified CaMKIIα also directly binds Shank3 between residues 829 and 1130. Mutation of Shank3 residues Arg-Arg-Lys to three alanines disrupts CaMKII binding and CaMKII association with Shank3 in heterologous cells. Our shRNA/rescue studies revealed that Shank3 binding to both CaMKII and LTCCs is important for increased phosphorylation of the nuclear CREB transcription factor and expression of c-Fos induced by depolarization of cultured hippocampal neurons. Thus, this novel CaMKII-Shank3 interaction is essential for the initiation of a specific long-range signal from LTCCs in the plasma membrane to the nucleus that is required for activity-dependent changes in neuronal gene expression during learning and memory. Precise neuronal expression of genes is essential for normal brain function. Proteins involved in signaling pathways that underlie activity-dependent gene expression, such as CaMKII, Shank3, and L-type calcium channels, are often mutated in multiple neuropsychiatric disorders. Shank3 and CaMKII were previously shown to bind L-type calcium channels, and we show here that Shank3 also binds to CaMKII. Our data show that each of these interactions is required for depolarization-induced phosphorylation of the CREB nuclear transcription factor, which stimulates the expression of c-Fos, a neuronal immediate early gene with key roles in synaptic plasticity, brain development, and behavior.
Copyright © 2020 the authors.
Ca/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) and metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu) are critical signaling molecules in synaptic plasticity and learning/memory. Here, we demonstrate that mGlu is present in CaMKII complexes isolated from mouse forebrain. Further in vitro characterization showed that the membrane-proximal region of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of mGlu directly interacts with purified Thr286-autophosphorylated (activated) CaMKII However, the binding of CaMKII to this CTD fragment is reduced by the addition of excess Ca/calmodulin or by additional CaMKII autophosphorylation at non-Thr286 sites. Furthermore, in vitro binding of CaMKII is dependent on a tribasic residue motif Lys-Arg-Arg (KRR) at residues 866-868 of the mGlu-CTD, and mutation of this motif decreases the coimmunoprecipitation of CaMKII with full-length mGlu expressed in heterologous cells by about 50%. The KRR motif is required for two novel functional effects of coexpressing constitutively active CaMKII with mGlu in heterologous cells. First, cell-surface biotinylation studies showed that CaMKII increases the surface expression of mGlu Second, using Ca fluorimetry and single-cell Ca imaging, we found that CaMKII reduces the initial peak of mGlu-mediated Ca mobilization by about 25% while doubling the relative duration of the Ca signal. These findings provide new insights into the physical and functional coupling of these key regulators of postsynaptic signaling.
Copyright © 2018 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Neuronal excitation can induce new mRNA transcription, a phenomenon called excitation-transcription (E-T) coupling. Among several pathways implicated in E-T coupling, activation of voltage-gated L-type Ca channels (LTCCs) in the plasma membrane can initiate a signaling pathway that ultimately increases nuclear CREB phosphorylation and, in most cases, expression of immediate early genes. Initiation of this long-range pathway has been shown to require recruitment of Ca-sensitive enzymes to a nanodomain in the immediate vicinity of the LTCC by an unknown mechanism. Here, we show that activated Ca/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) strongly interacts with a novel binding motif in the N-terminal domain of Ca1 LTCC α1 subunits that is not conserved in Ca2 or Ca3 voltage-gated Ca channel subunits. Mutations in the Ca1.3 α1 subunit N-terminal domain or in the CaMKII catalytic domain that largely prevent the interaction also disrupt CaMKII association with intact LTCC complexes isolated by immunoprecipitation. Furthermore, these same mutations interfere with E-T coupling in cultured hippocampal neurons. Taken together, our findings define a novel molecular interaction with the neuronal LTCC that is required for the initiation of a long-range signal to the nucleus that is critical for learning and memory.
© 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
β-arrestins are critical signalling molecules that regulate many fundamental physiological functions including the maintenance of euglycemia and peripheral insulin sensitivity. Here we show that inactivation of the β-arrestin-2 gene, barr2, in β-cells of adult mice greatly impairs insulin release and glucose tolerance in mice fed with a calorie-rich diet. Both glucose and KCl-induced insulin secretion and calcium responses were profoundly reduced in β-arrestin-2 (barr2) deficient β-cells. In human β-cells, barr2 knockdown abolished glucose-induced insulin secretion. We also show that the presence of barr2 is essential for proper CAMKII function in β-cells. Importantly, overexpression of barr2 in β-cells greatly ameliorates the metabolic deficits displayed by mice consuming a high-fat diet. Thus, our data identify barr2 as an important regulator of β-cell function, which may serve as a new target to improve β-cell function.
Characterizing the functional impact of novel mutations linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) provides a deeper mechanistic understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. Here we show that a Glu183 to Val (E183V) mutation in the CaMKIIα catalytic domain, identified in a proband diagnosed with ASD, decreases both CaMKIIα substrate phosphorylation and regulatory autophosphorylation, and that the mutated kinase acts in a dominant-negative manner to reduce CaMKIIα-WT autophosphorylation. The E183V mutation also reduces CaMKIIα binding to established ASD-linked proteins, such as Shank3 and subunits of l-type calcium channels and NMDA receptors, and increases CaMKIIα turnover in intact cells. In cultured neurons, the E183V mutation reduces CaMKIIα targeting to dendritic spines. Moreover, neuronal expression of CaMKIIα-E183V increases dendritic arborization and decreases both dendritic spine density and excitatory synaptic transmission. Mice with a knock-in CaMKIIα-E183V mutation have lower total forebrain CaMKIIα levels, with reduced targeting to synaptic subcellular fractions. The CaMKIIα-E183V mice also display aberrant behavioral phenotypes, including hyperactivity, social interaction deficits, and increased repetitive behaviors. Together, these data suggest that CaMKIIα plays a previously unappreciated role in ASD-related synaptic and behavioral phenotypes. Many autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-linked mutations disrupt the function of synaptic proteins, but no single gene accounts for >1% of total ASD cases. The molecular networks and mechanisms that couple the primary deficits caused by these individual mutations to core behavioral symptoms of ASD remain poorly understood. Here, we provide the first characterization of a mutation in the gene encoding CaMKIIα linked to a specific neuropsychiatric disorder. Our findings demonstrate that this ASD-linked mutation disrupts multiple CaMKII functions, induces synaptic deficits, and causes ASD-related behavioral alterations, providing novel insights into the synaptic mechanisms contributing to ASD.
Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/372217-18$15.00/0.
Some forms of long-term synaptic plasticity require docking of Ca/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II α (CaMKIIα) to residues 1290-1309 within the intracellular C-terminal tail of the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor GluN2B subunit. The phosphorylation of Ser1303 within this region destabilizes CaMKII binding. Interestingly, Ser1303 is a substrate for CaMKII itself, as well as PKC and DAPK1, but these kinases have been reported to have contradictory effects on the activity of GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors. Here, we re-assessed the effect of CaMKII on NMDA receptor desensitization in heterologous cells, as measured by the ratio of steady-state to peak currents induced during 3s agonist applications. CaMKIIα co-expression or infusion of constitutively active CaMKII limits the extent of desensitization and preserves current amplitude with repeated stimulation of recombinant GluN1A/GluN2B when examined using low intracellular chloride (Cl) levels, characteristic of neurons beyond the first postnatal week. In contrast, CaMKIIα enhances the acute rate and extent of desensitization when intracellular Cl concentrations are high. The apparent dependence of CaMKIIα effects on NMDA receptor desensitization on Cl concentrations is consistent with the presence of a Ca-activated Cl conductance endogenous to HEK 293 cells, which was confirmed by photolysis of caged-Ca. However, Ca-activated Cl conductances are unaffected by CaMKIIα expression, indicating that CaMKII affects agonist-induced whole cell currents via modulation of the NMDA receptor. In support of this idea, CaMKIIα modulation of GluN2B-NMDA receptors is abrogated by the phospho-null mutation of Ser1303 in GluN2B to alanine and occluded by phospho-mimetic mutation of Ser1303 to aspartate regardless of intracellular Cl concentration. Thus, CaMKII-mediated phosphorylation of GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors reduces desensitization at physiological (low) intracellular Cl, perhaps serving as a feed-forward mechanism to sustain NMDA-mediated Ca entry and continued CaMKII activation during learning and memory.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Calcium signaling regulates synaptic plasticity and many other functions in striatal medium spiny neurons to modulate basal ganglia function. Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a major calcium-dependent signaling protein that couples calcium entry to diverse cellular changes. CaMKII activation results in autophosphorylation at Thr286 and sustained calcium-independent CaMKII activity after calcium signals dissipate. However, little is known about the mechanisms regulating striatal CaMKII. To address this, mouse brain slices were treated with pharmacological modulators of calcium channels and punches of dorsal striatum were immunoblotted for CaMKII Thr286 autophosphorylation as an index of CaMKII activation. KCl depolarization increased levels of CaMKII autophosphorylation ~2-fold; this increase was blocked by an LTCC antagonist and was mimicked by treatment with pharmacological LTCC activators. The chelation of extracellular calcium robustly decreased basal CaMKII autophosphorylation within 5min and increased levels of total CaMKII in cytosolic fractions, in addition to decreasing the phosphorylation of CaMKII sites in the GluN2B subunit of NMDA receptors and the GluA1 subunit of AMPA receptors. We also found that the maintenance of basal levels of CaMKII autophosphorylation requires low-voltage gated T-type calcium channels, but not LTCCs or R-type calcium channels. Our findings indicate that CaMKII activity is dynamically regulated by multiple calcium channels in the striatum thus coupling calcium entry to key downstream substrates.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The nucleus accumbens is highly heterogeneous, integrating regionally distinct afferent projections and accumbal interneurons, resulting in diverse local microenvironments. Dopamine (DA) neuron terminals similarly express a heterogeneous collection of terminal receptors that modulate DA signaling. Cyclic voltammetry is often used to probe DA terminal dynamics in brain slice preparations; however, this method traditionally requires electrical stimulation to induce DA release. Electrical stimulation excites all of the neuronal processes in the stimulation field, potentially introducing simultaneous, multi-synaptic modulation of DA terminal release. We used optogenetics to selectively stimulate DA terminals and used voltammetry to compare DA responses from electrical and optical stimulation of the same area of tissue around a recording electrode. We found that with multiple pulse stimulation trains, optically stimulated DA release increasingly exceeded that of electrical stimulation. Furthermore, electrical stimulation produced inhibition of DA release across longer duration stimulations. The GABAB antagonist, CGP 55845, increased electrically stimulated DA release significantly more than light stimulated release. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist, dihydro-β-erythroidine hydrobromide, inhibited single pulse electrically stimulated DA release while having no effect on optically stimulated DA release. Our results demonstrate that electrical stimulation introduces local multi-synaptic modulation of DA release that is absent with optogenetically targeted stimulation.
© 2015 International Society for Neurochemistry.
Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (CaMKIIα) autophosphorylation at Thr286 and Thr305/Thr306 regulates kinase activity and modulates subcellular targeting and is critical for normal synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. Here, a mass spectrometry-based approach was used to identify Ca(2+)-dependent and -independent in vitro autophosphorylation sites in recombinant CaMKIIα and CaMKIIβ. CaMKII holoenzymes were then immunoprecipitated from subcellular fractions of forebrains isolated from either wild-type (WT) mice or mice with a Thr286 to Ala knock-in mutation of CaMKIIα (T286A-KI mice) and analyzed using the same approach in order to characterize in vivo phosphorylation sites in both CaMKII isoforms and identify CaMKII-associated proteins (CaMKAPs). A total of six and seven autophosphorylation sites in CaMKIIα and CaMKIIβ, respectively, were detected in WT mice. Thr286-phosphorylated CaMKIIα and Thr287-phosphorylated CaMKIIβ were selectively enriched in WT Triton-insoluble (synaptic) fractions compared to Triton-soluble (membrane) and cytosolic fractions. In contrast, Thr306-phosphorylated CaMKIIα and Ser315- and Thr320/Thr321-phosphorylated CaMKIIβ were selectively enriched in WT cytosolic fractions. The T286A-KI mutation significantly reduced levels of phosphorylation of CaMKIIα at Ser275 across all subcellular fractions and of cytosolic CaMKIIβ at Ser315 and Thr320/Thr321. Significantly more CaMKAPs coprecipitated with WT CaMKII holoenzymes in the synaptic fraction compared to that in the membrane fraction, with functions including scaffolding, microtubule organization, actin organization, ribosomal function, vesicle trafficking, and others. The T286A-KI mutation altered the interactions of multiple CaMKAPs with CaMKII, including several proteins linked to autism spectrum disorders. These data identify CaMKII isoform phosphorylation sites and a network of synaptic protein interactions that are sensitive to the abrogation of Thr286 autophosphorylation of CaMKIIα, likely contributing to the diverse synaptic and behavioral deficits of T286A-KI mice.
Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) from pancreatic β-cells is caused by Ca(2+) entry via voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels. CaMKII is a key mediator and feedback regulator of Ca(2+) signaling in many tissues, but its role in β-cells is poorly understood, especially in vivo. Here, we report that mice with conditional inhibition of CaMKII in β-cells show significantly impaired glucose tolerance due to decreased GSIS. Moreover, β-cell CaMKII inhibition dramatically exacerbates glucose intolerance following exposure to a high fat diet. The impairment of islet GSIS by β-cell CaMKII inhibition is not accompanied by changes in either glucose metabolism or the activities of KATP and voltage-gated potassium channels. However, glucose-stimulated Ca(2+) entry via voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels is reduced in islet β-cells with CaMKII inhibition, as well as in primary wild-type β-cells treated with a peptide inhibitor of CaMKII. The levels of basal β-cell cytoplasmic Ca(2+) and of endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) stores are also decreased by CaMKII inhibition. In addition, CaMKII inhibition suppresses glucose-stimulated action potential firing frequency. These results reveal that CaMKII is a Ca(2+) sensor with a key role as a feed-forward stimulator of β-cell Ca(2+) signals that enhance GSIS under physiological and pathological conditions.