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All Publications

  • Teneurins assemble into presynaptic nanoclusters that promote synapse formation via postsynaptic non-teneurin ligands. Nature communications Zhang, X., Lin, P., Liakath-Ali, K., Sudhof, T. C. 2022; 13 (1): 2297


    Extensive studies concluded that homophilic interactions between pre- and postsynaptic teneurins, evolutionarily conserved cell-adhesion molecules, encode the specificity of synaptic connections. However, no direct evidence is available to demonstrate that teneurins are actually required on both pre- and postsynaptic neurons for establishing synaptic connections, nor is it known whether teneurins are localized to synapses. Using super-resolution microscopy, we demonstrate that Teneurin-3 assembles into presynaptic nanoclusters of approximately 80nm in most excitatory synapses of the hippocampus. Presynaptic deletions of Teneurin-3 and Teneurin-4 in the medial entorhinal cortex revealed that they are required for assembly of entorhinal cortex-CA1, entorhinal cortex-subiculum, and entorhinal cortex-dentate gyrus synapses. Postsynaptic deletions of teneurins in the CA1 region, however, had no effect on synaptic connectionsfrom any presynaptic input. Our data suggest that different from the current prevailing view, teneurins promote the establishment of synaptic connections exclusively as presynaptic cell-adhesion molecules, most likely via their nanomolar-affinity binding to postsynaptic latrophilins.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-022-29751-1

    View details for PubMedID 35484136

  • A synaptic locus for TrkB signaling underlying ketamine rapid antidepressant action CELL REPORTS Lin, P., Ma, Z., Mahgoub, M., Kavalali, E. T., Monteggia, L. M. 2021; 36 (7): 109513


    Ketamine produces rapid antidepressant action in patients with major depression or treatment-resistant depression. Studies have identified brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB), as necessary for the antidepressant effects and underlying ketamine-induced synaptic potentiation in the hippocampus. Here, we delete BDNF or TrkB in presynaptic CA3 or postsynaptic CA1 regions of the Schaffer collateral pathway to investigate the rapid antidepressant action of ketamine. The deletion of Bdnf in CA3 or CA1 blocks the ketamine-induced synaptic potentiation. In contrast, ablation of TrkB only in postsynaptic CA1 eliminates the ketamine-induced synaptic potentiation. We confirm BDNF-TrkB signaling in CA1 is required for ketamine's rapid behavioral action. Moreover, ketamine application elicits dynamin1-dependent TrkB activation and downstream signaling to trigger rapid synaptic effects. Taken together, these data demonstrate a requirement for BDNF-TrkB signaling in CA1 neurons in ketamine-induced synaptic potentiation and identify a specific synaptic locus in eliciting ketamine's rapid antidepressant effects.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109513

    View details for Web of Science ID 000686356500001

    View details for PubMedID 34407417

  • VAMP4 Maintains a Ca2+-Sensitive Pool of Spontaneously Recycling Synaptic Vesicles JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE Lin, P., Chanaday, N. L., Horvath, P. M., Ramirez, D. O., Monteggia, L. M., Kavalali, E. T. 2020; 40 (28): 5389–5401


    Spontaneous neurotransmitter release is a fundamental property of synapses in which neurotransmitter filled vesicles release their content independent of presynaptic action potentials (APs). Despite their seemingly random nature, these spontaneous fusion events can be regulated by Ca2+ signaling pathways. Here, we probed the mechanisms that maintain Ca2+ sensitivity of spontaneous release events in synapses formed between hippocampal neurons cultured from rats of both sexes. In this setting, we examined the potential role of vesicle-associated membrane protein 4 (VAMP4), a vesicular soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) protein in spontaneous neurotransmission. Our results show that VAMP4 is required for Ca2+-dependent spontaneous excitatory neurotransmission, with a limited role in spontaneous inhibitory neurotransmission. Key residues in VAMP4 that regulate its retrieval as well as functional clathrin-mediated vesicle trafficking were essential for the maintenance of VAMP4-mediated spontaneous release. Moreover, high-frequency stimulation (HFS) that typically triggers asynchronous release and retrieval of VAMP4 from the plasma membrane also augmentsCa2+-sensitive spontaneous release for up to 30 min in a VAMP4-dependent manner. This VAMP4-mediated link between asynchronous and spontaneous excitatory neurotransmission might serve as a presynaptic substrate for synaptic plasticity coupling distinct forms of release.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Spontaneous neurotransmitter release that occurs independent of presynaptic action potentials (APs) shows significant sensitivity to intracellular Ca2+ levels. In this study, we identify the vesicular soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) molecule vesicle-associated membrane protein 4 (VAMP4) as a key component of the machinery that maintains these Ca2+-sensitive fraction of spontaneous release events. Following brief intense activity, VAMP4-dependent synaptic vesicle retrieval supports a pool of vesicles that fuse spontaneously in the long term. We propose that this vesicle trafficking pathway acts to shape spontaneous release and associated signaling based on previous activity history of synapses.

    View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2386-19.2020

    View details for Web of Science ID 000548287600005

    View details for PubMedID 32532887

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7343330

  • Role of Aberrant Spontaneous Neurotransmission in SNAP25-Associated Encephalopathies. Neuron Alten, B. n., Zhou, Q. n., Shin, O. H., Esquivies, L. n., Lin, P. Y., White, K. I., Sun, R. n., Chung, W. K., Monteggia, L. M., Brunger, A. T., Kavalali, E. T. 2020


    SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) complex, composed of synaptobrevin, syntaxin, and SNAP25, forms the essential fusion machinery for neurotransmitter release. Recent studies have reported several mutations in the gene encoding SNAP25 as a causative factor for developmental and epileptic encephalopathies of infancy and childhood with diverse clinical manifestations. However, it remains unclear how SNAP25 mutations give rise to these disorders. Here, we show that although structurally clustered mutations in SNAP25 give rise to related synaptic transmission phenotypes, specific alterations in spontaneous neurotransmitter release are a key factor to account for disease heterogeneity. Importantly, we identified a single mutation that augments spontaneous release without altering evoked release, suggesting that aberrant spontaneous release is sufficient to cause disease in humans.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.10.012

    View details for PubMedID 33147442