Publications by authors named "Georg Langlhofer"

9 Publications

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A proline-rich motif in the large intracellular loop of the glycine receptor α1 subunit interacts with the Pleckstrin homology domain of collybistin.

J Adv Res 2021 03 8;29:95-106. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

Department of Biochemistry, German University in Cairo, Egypt.

Introduction: The inhibitory glycine receptor (GlyR), a mediator of fast synaptic inhibition, is located and held at neuronal synapses through the anchoring proteins gephyrin and collybistin. Stable localization of neurotransmitter receptors is essential for synaptic function. In case of GlyRs, only beta subunits were known until now to mediate synaptic anchoring.

Objectives: We identified a poly-proline II helix (PPII) in position 365-373 of the intra-cellular TM3-4 loop of the human GlyRα1 subunit as a novel potential synaptic anchoring site. The potential role of the PPII helix as synaptic anchoring site was tested.

Methods: Glycine receptors and collybistin variants were generated and recombinantly expressed in HEK293 cells and cultured neurons. Receptor function was assessed using patch-clamp electrophysiology, protein-protein interaction was studied using co-immuno-precipitation and pulldown experiments.

Results: Recombinantly expressed collybistin bound to isolated GlyRα1 TM3-4 loops in GST-pulldown assays. When the five proline residues P365A, P366A, P367A, P369A, P373A (GlyRα1) located in the GlyRα1-PPII helix were replaced by alanines, the PPII secondary structure was disrupted. Recombinant GlyRα1 mutant subunits displayed normal cell surface expression and wildtype-like ion channel function, but binding to collybistin was abolished. The GlyRα1-collybistin interaction was independently confirmed by o-immunoprecipitation assays using full-length GlyRα1 subunits. Surprisingly, the interaction was not mediated by the SH3 domain of collybistin, but by its Pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. The mutation GlyRα1, identified in a hyperekplexia patient, is also disrupting the PPII helix, and caused reduced collybistin binding.

Conclusion: Our data suggest a novel interaction between α1 GlyR subunits and collybistin, which is physiologically relevant in vitro and in vivo and may contribute to postsynaptic anchoring of glycine receptors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jare.2020.09.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8020344PMC
March 2021

A Novel Glycine Receptor Variant with Startle Disease Affects Syndapin I and Glycinergic Inhibition.

J Neurosci 2020 06 30;40(25):4954-4969. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

Institute for Clinical Neurobiology, University Hospital, Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg, 97070 Würzburg, Germany

Glycine receptors (GlyRs) are the major mediators of fast synaptic inhibition in the adult human spinal cord and brainstem. Hereditary mutations to GlyRs can lead to the rare, but potentially fatal, neuromotor disorder hyperekplexia. Most mutations located in the large intracellular domain (TM3-4 loop) of the GlyRα1 impair surface expression levels of the receptors. The novel mutation P366L, located in the TM3-4 loop, showed normal surface expression but reduced chloride currents, and accelerated whole-cell desensitization observed in whole-cell recordings. At the single-channel level, we observed reduced unitary conductance accompanied by spontaneous opening events in the absence of extracellular glycine. Using peptide microarrays and tandem MS-based analysis methods, we show that the proline-rich stretch surrounding P366 mediates binding to syndapin I, an F-BAR domain protein involved in membrane remodeling. The disruption of the noncanonical Src homology 3 recognition motif by P366L reduces syndapin I binding. These data suggest that the GlyRα1 subunit interacts with intracellular binding partners and may therefore play a role in receptor trafficking or synaptic anchoring, a function thus far only ascribed to the GlyRβ subunit. Hence, the P366L GlyRα1 variant exhibits a unique set of properties that cumulatively affect GlyR functionality and thus might explain the neuropathological mechanism underlying hyperekplexia in the mutant carriers. P366L is the first dominant mutation identified within the GlyRα1 TM3-4 loop that affects GlyR physiology without altering protein expression at the whole-cell and surface levels. We show that the intracellular domain of the inhibitory glycine receptor α1 subunit contributes to trafficking and synaptic anchoring. A proline-rich stretch in this receptor domain forms a noncanonical recognition motif important for the interaction with syndapin I (PACSIN1). The disruption of this motif, as present in a human patient with hyperekplexia led to impaired syndapin I binding. Functional analysis revealed that the altered proline-rich stretch determines several functional physiological parameters of the ion channel (e.g., faster whole-cell desensitization) reduced unitary conductance and spontaneous opening events. Thus, the proline-rich stretch from the glycine receptor α1 subunit represents a multifunctional intracellular protein motif.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2490-19.2020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7326357PMC
June 2020

The role of charged residues in independent glycine receptor folding domains for intermolecular interactions and ion channel function.

J Neurochem 2017 07 22;142(1):41-55. Epub 2017 May 22.

Institute for Clinical Neurobiology, Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.

Glycine receptor (GlyR) truncations in the intracellular TM3-4 loop, documented in patients suffering from hyperekplexia and in the mouse mutant oscillator, lead to non-functionality of GlyRs. The missing part that contains the TM3-4 loop, TM4 and C-terminal sequences is essential for pentameric receptor arrangements. In vitro co-expressions of GlyRα1-truncated N-domains and C-domains were able to restore ion channel function. An ionic interaction between both domains was hypothesized as the underlying mechanism. Here, we analysed the proposed ionic interaction between GlyR N- and C-domains using C-terminal constructs with either positively or negatively charged N-termini. Charged residues at the N-terminus of the C-domain did interfere with receptor surface expression and ion channel function. In particular, presence of negatively charged residues at the N-terminus led to significantly decreased ion channel function. Presence of positive charges resulted in reduced maximal currents possibly as a result of repulsion of both domains. If the C-domain was tagged by a myc-epitope, low maximal current amplitudes were detected. Intrinsic charges of the myc-epitope and charged N-terminal ends of the C-domain most probably induce intramolecular interactions. These interactions might hinder the close proximity of C-domains and N-domains, which is a prerequisite for functional ion channel configurations. The remaining basic subdomains close to TM3 and 4 were sufficient for domain complementation and functional ion channel formation. Thus, these basic subdomains forming α-helical elements or an intracellular portal represent attractants for incoming negatively charged chloride ions and interact with the phospholipids thereby stabilizing the GlyR in a conformation that allows ion channel opening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnc.14049DOI Listing
July 2017

The Intracellular Loop of the Glycine Receptor: It's not all about the Size.

Front Mol Neurosci 2016 3;9:41. Epub 2016 Jun 3.

Institute of Clinical Neurobiology, University of Würzburg Würzburg, Germany.

The family of Cys-loop receptors (CLRs) shares a high degree of homology and sequence identity. The overall structural elements are highly conserved with a large extracellular domain (ECD) harboring an α-helix and 10 β-sheets. Following the ECD, four transmembrane domains (TMD) are connected by intracellular and extracellular loop structures. Except the TM3-4 loop, their length comprises 7-14 residues. The TM3-4 loop forms the largest part of the intracellular domain (ICD) and exhibits the most variable region between all CLRs. The ICD is defined by the TM3-4 loop together with the TM1-2 loop preceding the ion channel pore. During the last decade, crystallization approaches were successful for some members of the CLR family. To allow crystallization, the intracellular loop was in most structures replaced by a short linker present in prokaryotic CLRs. Therefore, no structural information about the large TM3-4 loop of CLRs including the glycine receptors (GlyRs) is available except for some basic stretches close to TM3 and TM4. The intracellular loop has been intensively studied with regard to functional aspects including desensitization, modulation of channel physiology by pharmacological substances, posttranslational modifications, and motifs important for trafficking. Furthermore, the ICD interacts with scaffold proteins enabling inhibitory synapse formation. This review focuses on attempts to define structural and functional elements within the ICD of GlyRs discussed with the background of protein-protein interactions and functional channel formation in the absence of the TM3-4 loop.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2016.00041DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4891346PMC
June 2016

Disturbances of Ligand Potency and Enhanced Degradation of the Human Glycine Receptor at Affected Positions G160 and T162 Originally Identified in Patients Suffering from Hyperekplexia.

Front Mol Neurosci 2015 22;8:79. Epub 2015 Dec 22.

Institute for Clinical Neurobiology, Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg Würzburg, Germany.

Ligand-binding of Cys-loop receptors is determined by N-terminal extracellular loop structures from the plus as well as from the minus side of two adjacent subunits in the pentameric receptor complex. An aromatic residue in loop B of the glycine receptor (GlyR) undergoes direct interaction with the incoming ligand via a cation-π interaction. Recently, we showed that mutated residues in loop B identified from human patients suffering from hyperekplexia disturb ligand-binding. Here, we exchanged the affected human residues by amino acids found in related members of the Cys-loop receptor family to determine the effects of side chain volume for ion channel properties. GlyR variants were characterized in vitro following transfection into cell lines in order to analyze protein expression, trafficking, degradation and ion channel function. GlyR α1 G160 mutations significantly decrease glycine potency arguing for a positional effect on neighboring aromatic residues and consequently glycine-binding within the ligand-binding pocket. Disturbed glycinergic inhibition due to T162 α1 mutations is an additive effect of affected biogenesis and structural changes within the ligand-binding site. Protein trafficking from the ER toward the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment, the secretory Golgi pathways and finally the cell surface is largely diminished, but still sufficient to deliver ion channels that are functional at least at high glycine concentrations. The majority of T162 mutant protein accumulates in the ER and is delivered to ER-associated proteasomal degradation. Hence, G160 is an important determinant during glycine binding. In contrast, T162 affects primarily receptor biogenesis whereas exchanges in functionality are secondary effects thereof.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2015.00079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4686643PMC
January 2016

Disturbed neuronal ER-Golgi sorting of unassembled glycine receptors suggests altered subcellular processing is a cause of human hyperekplexia.

J Neurosci 2015 Jan;35(1):422-37

Institute for Clinical Neurobiology, Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg, 97078 Würzburg, Germany,

Recent studies on the pathogenic mechanisms of recessive hyperekplexia indicate disturbances in glycine receptor (GlyR) α1 biogenesis. Here, we examine the properties of a range of novel glycine receptor mutants identified in human hyperekplexia patients using expression in transfected cell lines and primary neurons. All of the novel mutants localized in the large extracellular domain of the GlyR α1 have reduced cell surface expression with a high proportion of receptors being retained in the ER, although there is forward trafficking of glycosylated subpopulations into the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment and cis-Golgi compartment. CD spectroscopy revealed that the mutant receptors have proportions of secondary structural elements similar to wild-type receptors. Two mutants in loop B (G160R, T162M) were functional, but none of those in loop D/β2-3 were. One nonfunctional truncated mutant (R316X) could be rescued by coexpression with the lacking C-terminal domain. We conclude that a proportion of GlyR α1 mutants can be transported to the plasma membrane but do not necessarily form functional ion channels. We suggest that loop D/β2-3 is an important determinant for GlyR trafficking and functionality, whereas alterations to loop B alter agonist potencies, indicating that residues here are critical elements in ligand binding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1509-14.2015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4287157PMC
January 2015

Single expressed glycine receptor domains reconstitute functional ion channels without subunit-specific desensitization behavior.

J Biol Chem 2014 Oct 20;289(42):29135-47. Epub 2014 Aug 20.

Institute of Biochemistry, Emil Fischer Center, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Fahrstrasse 17, 91054 Erlangen, Germany, the Institute for Clinical Neurobiology, University of Würzburg, Versbacherstrasse 5, 97078 Würzburg, Germany, and

Cys loop receptors are pentameric arrangements of independent subunits that assemble into functional ion channels. Each subunit shows a domain architecture. Functional ion channels can be reconstituted even from independent, nonfunctional subunit domains, as shown previously for GlyRα1 receptors. Here, we demonstrate that this reconstitution is not restricted to α1 but can be transferred to other members of the Cys loop receptor family. A nonfunctional GlyR subunit, truncated at the intracellular TM3-4 loop by a premature stop codon, can be complemented by co-expression of the missing tail portion of the receptor. Compared with α1 subunits, rescue by domain complementation was less efficient when GlyRα3 or the GABAA/C subunit ρ1 was used. If truncation disrupted an alternative splicing cassette within the intracellular TM3-4 loop of α3 subunits, which also regulates receptor desensitization, functional rescue was not possible. When α3 receptors were restored by complementation using domains with and without the spliced insert, no difference in desensitization was found. In contrast, desensitization properties could even be transferred between α1/α3 receptor chimeras harboring or lacking the α3 splice cassette proving that functional rescue depends on the integrity of the alternative splicing cassette in α3. Thus, an intact α3 splicing cassette in the TM3-4 loop environment is indispensable for functional rescue, and the quality of receptor restoration can be assessed from desensitization properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M114.559138DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4200267PMC
October 2014

Glycine receptor mouse mutants: model systems for human hyperekplexia.

Br J Pharmacol 2013 Nov;170(5):933-52

Institute for Clinical Neurobiology, Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.

Human hyperekplexia is a neuromotor disorder caused by disturbances in inhibitory glycine-mediated neurotransmission. Mutations in genes encoding for glycine receptor subunits or associated proteins, such as GLRA1, GLRB, GPHN and ARHGEF9, have been detected in patients suffering from hyperekplexia. Classical symptoms are exaggerated startle attacks upon unexpected acoustic or tactile stimuli, massive tremor, loss of postural control during startle and apnoea. Usually patients are treated with clonazepam, this helps to dampen the severe symptoms most probably by up-regulating GABAergic responses. However, the mechanism is not completely understood. Similar neuromotor phenotypes have been observed in mouse models that carry glycine receptor mutations. These mouse models serve as excellent tools for analysing the underlying pathomechanisms. Yet, studies in mutant mice looking for postsynaptic compensation of glycinergic dysfunction via an up-regulation in GABAA receptor numbers have failed, as expression levels were similar to those in wild-type mice. However, presynaptic adaptation mechanisms with an unusual switch from mixed GABA/glycinergic to GABAergic presynaptic terminals have been observed. Whether this presynaptic adaptation explains the improvement in symptoms or other compensation mechanisms exist is still under investigation. With the help of spontaneous glycine receptor mouse mutants, knock-in and knock-out studies, it is possible to associate behavioural changes with pharmacological differences in glycinergic inhibition. This review focuses on the structural and functional characteristics of the various mouse models used to elucidate the underlying signal transduction pathways and adaptation processes and describes a novel route that uses gene-therapeutic modulation of mutated receptors to overcome loss of function mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.12335DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3949644PMC
November 2013

GABA concentration and GABAergic neuron populations in limbic areas are differentially altered by brain serotonin deficiency in Tph2 knockout mice.

Histochem Cell Biol 2013 Feb 11;139(2):267-81. Epub 2012 Oct 11.

Laboratory of Translational Neuroscience, Division of Molecular Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics, and Psychotherapy, University of Wuerzburg, Fuechsleinstrasse 15, 97080 Wuerzburg, Germany.

While tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (Tph2) null mutant (Tph2(-/-)) mice are completely deficient in brain serotonin (5-HT) synthesis, the formation of serotonergic neurons and pathfinding of their projections are not impaired. However, 5-HT deficiency, during development and in the adult, might affect morphological and functional parameters of other neural systems. To assess the influence of 5-HT deficiency on γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) systems, we carried out measurements of GABA concentrations in limbic brain regions of adult male wildtype (wt), heterozygous (Tph2(+/-)) and Tph2(-/-) mice. In addition, unbiased stereological estimation of GABAergic interneuron numbers and density was performed in subregions of amygdala and hippocampus. Amygdala and prefrontal cortex displayed significantly increased and decreased GABA concentrations, respectively, exclusively in Tph2(+/-) mice while no changes were detected between Tph2(-/-) and wt mice. In contrast, in the hippocampus, increased GABA concentrations were found in Tph2(-/-) mice. While total cell density in the anterior basolateral amygdala did not differ between genotypes, the number and density of the GABAergic interneurons were significantly decreased in Tph2(-/-) mice, with the group of parvalbumin (PV)-immunoreactive (ir) interneurons contributing somewhat less to the decrease than that of non-PV-ir GABAergic interneurons. Major morphological changes were also absent in the dorsal hippocampus, and only a trend toward reduced density of PV-ir cells was observed in the CA3 region of Tph2(-/-) mice. Our findings are the first to document that life-long reduction or complete lack of brain 5-HT transmission causes differential changes of GABA systems in limbic regions which are key players in emotional learning and memory processes. The changes likely reflect a combination of developmental alterations and functional adaptations of emotion circuits to balance the lack of 5-HT, and may underlie altered emotional behavior in 5-HT-deficient mice. Taken together, our findings provide further insight into the mechanisms how life-long 5-HT deficiency impacts the pathogenesis of anxiety- and fear-related disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00418-012-1029-xDOI Listing
February 2013