Publications by authors named "Hans Rudolf Brenner"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A Cell Culture System to Investigate the Presynaptic Control of Subsynaptic Membrane Differentiation at the Neuromuscular Junction.

Methods Mol Biol 2017 ;1538:3-11

Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 50, 4051, Basel, Switzerland.

For decades the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) has been a favorite preparation to investigate basic mechanisms of synaptic function and development. As its function is to transmit action potentials in a 1:1 ratio from motor neurons to muscle fibers, the NMJ shows little or no functional plasticity, a property that makes it poorly suited to investigate mechanisms of use-dependent adaptations of synaptic function, which are thought to underlie learning and memory formation in the brain. On the other hand, the NMJ is unique in that the differentiation of the subsynaptic membrane is regulated by one major factor secreted from motor neurons, agrin. As a consequence, myotubes grown on a laminin substrate that is focally impregnated with recombinant neural agrin closely resemble the situation in vivo, where agrin secreted from motor neurons binds to the basal lamina of the NMJ's synaptic cleft to induce and maintain the subsynaptic muscle membrane. We provide here a detailed protocol through which acetylcholine receptor clusters are induced in cultured myotubes contacting laminin-attached agrin, enabling molecular, biochemical and cell biological analyses including high resolution microscopy in 4D. This preparation is ideally suited to investigate the mechanisms involved in the assembly of the postsynaptic muscle membrane, providing distinct advantages over inducing AChR clusters using soluble agrin.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-6688-2_1DOI Listing
January 2018

Mechanisms Regulating Neuromuscular Junction Development and Function and Causes of Muscle Wasting.

Physiol Rev 2015 Jul;95(3):809-52

Biozentrum, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; and INRA, UMR866 Dynamique Musculaire et Métabolisme, Montpellier, France.

The neuromuscular junction is the chemical synapse between motor neurons and skeletal muscle fibers. It is designed to reliably convert the action potential from the presynaptic motor neuron into the contraction of the postsynaptic muscle fiber. Diseases that affect the neuromuscular junction may cause failure of this conversion and result in loss of ambulation and respiration. The loss of motor input also causes muscle wasting as muscle mass is constantly adapted to contractile needs by the balancing of protein synthesis and protein degradation. Finally, neuromuscular activity and muscle mass have a major impact on metabolic properties of the organisms. This review discusses the mechanisms involved in the development and maintenance of the neuromuscular junction, the consequences of and the mechanisms involved in its dysfunction, and its role in maintaining muscle mass during aging. As life expectancy is increasing, loss of muscle mass during aging, called sarcopenia, has emerged as a field of high medical need. Interestingly, aging is also accompanied by structural changes at the neuromuscular junction, suggesting that the mechanisms involved in neuromuscular junction maintenance might be disturbed during aging. In addition, there is now evidence that behavioral paradigms and signaling pathways that are involved in longevity also affect neuromuscular junction stability and sarcopenia.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/physrev.00033.2014DOI Listing
July 2015

CLASP2-dependent microtubule capture at the neuromuscular junction membrane requires LL5β and actin for focal delivery of acetylcholine receptor vesicles.

Mol Biol Cell 2015 Mar 14;26(5):938-51. Epub 2015 Jan 14.

Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland

A hallmark of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is the high density of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in the postsynaptic muscle membrane. The postsynaptic apparatus of the NMJ is organized by agrin secreted from motor neurons. The mechanisms that underlie the focal delivery of AChRs to the adult NMJ are not yet understood in detail. We previously showed that microtubule (MT) capture by the plus end-tracking protein CLASP2 regulates AChR density at agrin-induced AChR clusters in cultured myotubes via PI3 kinase acting through GSK3β. Here we show that knockdown of the CLASP2-interaction partner LL5β by RNAi and forced expression of a CLASP2 fragment blocking the CLASP2/LL5β interaction inhibit microtubule capture. The same treatments impair focal vesicle delivery to the clusters. Consistent with these findings, knockdown of LL5β at the NMJ in vivo reduces the density and insertion of AChRs into the postsynaptic membrane. MT capture and focal vesicle delivery to agrin-induced AChR clusters are also inhibited by microtubule- and actin-depolymerizing drugs, invoking both cytoskeletal systems in MT capture and in the fusion of AChR vesicles with the cluster membrane. Combined our data identify a transport system, organized by agrin through PI3 kinase, GSK3β, CLASP2, and LL5β, for precise delivery of AChR vesicles from the subsynaptic nuclei to the overlying synaptic membrane.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1091/mbc.E14-06-1158DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4342029PMC
March 2015

Acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clustering is regulated both by glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β)-dependent phosphorylation and the level of CLIP-associated protein 2 (CLASP2) mediating the capture of microtubule plus-ends.

J Biol Chem 2014 Oct 17;289(44):30857-30867. Epub 2014 Sep 17.

Department of Cell Biology, Erasmus Medical Center, 3015 GE, Rotterdam, Netherlands,. Electronic address:

The postsynaptic apparatus of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) traps and anchors acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) at high density at the synapse. We have previously shown that microtubule (MT) capture by CLASP2, a MT plus-end-tracking protein (+TIP), increases the size and receptor density of AChR clusters at the NMJ through the delivery of AChRs and that this is regulated by a pathway involving neuronal agrin and several postsynaptic kinases, including GSK3. Phosphorylation by GSK3 has been shown to cause CLASP2 dissociation from MT ends, and nine potential phosphorylation sites for GSK3 have been mapped on CLASP2. How CLASP2 phosphorylation regulates MT capture at the NMJ and how this controls the size of AChR clusters are not yet understood. To examine this, we used myotubes cultured on agrin patches that induce AChR clustering in a two-dimensional manner. We show that expression of a CLASP2 mutant, in which the nine GSK3 target serines are mutated to alanine (CLASP2-9XS/9XA) and are resistant to GSK3β-dependent phosphorylation, promotes MT capture at clusters and increases AChR cluster size, compared with myotubes that express similar levels of wild type CLASP2 or that are noninfected. Conversely, myotubes expressing a phosphomimetic form of CLASP2 (CLASP2-8XS/D) show enrichment of immobile mutant CLASP2 in clusters, but MT capture and AChR cluster size are reduced. Taken together, our data suggest that both GSK3β-dependent phosphorylation and the level of CLASP2 play a role in the maintenance of AChR cluster size through the regulated capture and release of MT plus-ends.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M114.589457DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4215261PMC
October 2014

Recycling of acetylcholine receptors at ectopic postsynaptic clusters induced by exogenous agrin in living rats.

Dev Biol 2014 Oct 2;394(1):122-8. Epub 2014 Aug 2.

Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Program in Neuroscience, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. Electronic address:

During the development of the neuromuscular junction, motor axons induce the clustering of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) and increase their metabolic stability in the muscle membrane. Here, we asked whether the synaptic organizer agrin might regulate the metabolic stability and density of AChRs by promoting the recycling of internalized AChRs, which would otherwise be destined for degradation, into synaptic sites. We show that at nerve-free AChR clusters induced by agrin in extrasynaptic membrane, internalized AChRs are driven back into the ectopic synaptic clusters where they intermingle with pre-existing and new receptors. The extent of AChR recycling depended on the strength of the agrin stimulus, but not on the development of junctional folds, another hallmark of mature postsynaptic membranes. In chronically denervated muscles, in which both AChR stability and recycling are significantly decreased by muscle inactivity, agrin maintained the amount of recycled AChRs at agrin-induced clusters at a level similar to that at denervated original endplates. In contrast, AChRs did not recycle at agrin-induced clusters in C2C12 or primary myotubes. Thus, in muscles in vivo, but not in cultured myotubes, neural agrin promotes the recycling of AChRs and thereby increases their metabolic stability.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.07.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4167355PMC
October 2014

Agrin regulates CLASP2-mediated capture of microtubules at the neuromuscular junction synaptic membrane.

J Cell Biol 2012 Aug 30;198(3):421-37. Epub 2012 Jul 30.

Department of Biomedicine, Institute of Physiology, University of Basel, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.

Agrin is the major factor mediating the neuronal regulation of postsynaptic structures at the vertebrate neuromuscular junction, but the details of how it orchestrates this unique three-dimensional structure remain unknown. Here, we show that agrin induces the formation of the dense network of microtubules in the subsynaptic cytoplasm and that this, in turn, regulates acetylcholine receptor insertion into the postsynaptic membrane. Agrin acted in part by locally activating phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and inactivating GSK3β, which led to the local capturing of dynamic microtubules at agrin-induced acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clusters, mediated to a large extent by the microtubule plus-end tracking proteins CLASP2 and CLIP-170. Indeed, in the absence of CLASP2, microtubule plus ends at the subsynaptic muscle membrane, the density of synaptic AChRs, the size of AChR clusters, and the numbers of subsynaptic muscle nuclei with their selective gene expression programs were all reduced. Thus, the cascade linking agrin to CLASP2-mediated microtubule capturing at the synaptic membrane is essential for the maintenance of a normal neuromuscular phenotype.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201111130DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3413356PMC
August 2012

Neuregulin/ErbB regulate neuromuscular junction development by phosphorylation of α-dystrobrevin.

J Cell Biol 2011 Dec 19;195(7):1171-84. Epub 2011 Dec 19.

Institute of Physiology, Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, CH-4056, Basel, Switzerland.

Neuregulin (NRG)/ErbB signaling is involved in numerous developmental processes in the nervous system, including synapse formation and function in the central nervous system. Although intensively investigated, its role at the neuromuscular synapse has remained elusive. Here, we demonstrate that loss of neuromuscular NRG/ErbB signaling destabilized anchoring of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in the postsynaptic muscle membrane and that this effect was caused by dephosphorylation of α-dystrobrevin1, a component of the postsynaptic scaffold. Specifically, in mice in which NRG signaling to muscle was genetically or pharmacologically abolished, postsynaptic AChRs moved rapidly from the synaptic to the perisynaptic membrane, and the subsynaptic scaffold that anchors the AChRs was impaired. These defects combined compromised synaptic transmission. We further show that blockade of NRG/ErbB signaling abolished tyrosine phosphorylation of α-dystrobrevin1, which reduced the stability of receptors in agrin-induced AChR clusters in cultured myotubes. Our data indicate that NRG/ErbB signaling maintains high efficacy of synaptic transmission by stabilizing the postsynaptic apparatus via phosphorylation of α-dystrobrevin1.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201107083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3246897PMC
December 2011

A novel role for embigin to promote sprouting of motor nerve terminals at the neuromuscular junction.

J Biol Chem 2009 Mar 21;284(13):8930-9. Epub 2009 Jan 21.

Institute of Physiology, Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 50, Basel 4056, Switzerland.

Adult skeletal muscle accepts ectopic innervation by foreign motor axons only after section of its own nerve, suggesting that the formation of new neuromuscular junctions is promoted by muscle denervation. With the aim to identify new proteins involved in neuromuscular junction formation we performed an mRNA differential display on innervated versus denervated adult rat muscles. We identified transcripts encoding embigin, a transmembrane protein of the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) class of cell adhesion molecules to be strongly regulated by the state of innervation. In innervated muscle it is preferentially localized to neuromuscular junctions. Forced overexpression in innervated muscle of a full-length embigin transgene, but not of an embigin fragment lacking the intracellular domain, promotes nerve terminal sprouting and the formation of additional acetylcholine receptor clusters at synaptic sites without affecting terminal Schwann cell number or morphology, and it delays the retraction of terminal sprouts following re-innervation of denervated endplates. Conversely, knockdown of embigin by RNA interference in wild-type muscle accelerates terminal sprout retraction, both by itself and synergistically with deletion of neural cell adhesion molecule. These findings indicate that embigin enhances neural cell adhesion molecule-dependent neuromuscular adhesion and thereby modulates neuromuscular junction formation and plasticity.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M809491200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2659250PMC
March 2009

Muscle-wide secretion of a miniaturized form of neural agrin rescues focal neuromuscular innervation in agrin mutant mice.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2008 Aug 6;105(32):11406-11. Epub 2008 Aug 6.

Biozentrum and Institute of Physiology, Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 70, 4056 Basel, Switzerland.

Agrin and its receptor MuSK are required for the formation of the postsynaptic apparatus at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). In the current model the local deposition of agrin by the nerve and the resulting local activation of MuSK are responsible for creating and maintaining the postsynaptic apparatus including clusters of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs). Concomitantly, the release of acetylcholine (ACh) and the resulting depolarization disperses those postsynaptic structures that are not apposed by the nerve and thus not stabilized by agrin-MuSK signaling. Here we show that a miniaturized form of agrin, consisting of the laminin-binding and MuSK-activating domains, is sufficient to fully restore NMJs in agrin mutant mice when expressed by developing muscle. Although miniagrin is expressed uniformly throughout muscle fibers and induces ectopic AChR clusters, the size and the number of those AChR clusters contacted by the motor nerve increase during development. We provide experimental evidence that this is due to ACh, because the AChR agonist carbachol stabilizes AChR clusters in organotypic cultures of embryonic diaphragms. In summary, our results show that agrin function in NMJ development requires only two small domains, and that this function does not depend on the local deposition of agrin at synapses. Finally, they suggest a novel local function of ACh in stabilizing postsynaptic structures.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0801683105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2497462PMC
August 2008

The role of nerve- versus muscle-derived factors in mammalian neuromuscular junction formation.

J Neurosci 2008 Mar;28(13):3333-40

Biozentrum, University of Basel, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.

Neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) normally form in the central region of developing muscle. In this process, agrin released from motor neurons has been considered to initiate the formation of synaptic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clusters (neurocentric model). However, in muscle developing in the absence of nerves and thus of agrin, AChR clusters still form in the muscle center. This raises the possibility that the region of NMJ formation is determined by muscle-derived cues that spatially restrict the nerve to form synapses from aneural AChR clusters, e.g., by patterned expression of the agrin receptor MuSK (muscle-specific kinase) (myocentric model). Here we examine at initial stages of synaptogenesis whether the responsiveness of myotubes to agrin is spatially restricted, whether the regions of NMJ formation in wild-type muscle and of aneural AChR cluster formation in agrin-deficient animals correlate, and whether AChR cluster growth depends on the presence of agrin. We show that primary myotubes form AChR clusters in response to exogenous agrin in their central region only, a pattern that can spatially restrict NMJ formation. However, the nerve also makes synapses in regions in which aneural AChR clusters do not form, and agrin promotes synaptic cluster growth from the first stages of neuromuscular contact formation. These data indicate that aneural AChR clusters per se are not required for NMJ formation. A model is proposed that explains either the neurocentric or the myocentric mode of NMJ formation depending on a balance between the levels of MuSK expression and the availability of nerve-released agrin.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5590-07.2008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6670584PMC
March 2008

Mice lacking protease nexin-1 show delayed structural and functional recovery after sciatic nerve crush.

J Neurosci 2007 Apr;27(14):3677-85

Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, CH-4058 Basel, Switzerland.

Multiple molecular mechanisms influence nerve regeneration. Because serine proteases were shown to affect peripheral nerve regeneration, we performed nerve crush experiments to study synapse reinnervation in adult mice lacking the serpin protease nexin-1 (PN-1). PN-1 is a potent endogenous inhibitor of thrombin, trypsin, tissue plasminogen activators (tPAs), and urokinase plasminogen activators. Compared with the wild type, a significant delay in synapse reinnervation was detected in PN-1 knock-out (KO) animals, which was associated with both reduced proliferation and increased apoptosis of Schwann cells. Various factors known to affect Schwann cells were also altered. Fibrin deposits, tPA activity, mature BDNF, and the low-affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor were increased in injured sciatic nerves of mutant mice. To test whether the absence of PN-1 in Schwann cells or in the axon caused delay in reinnervation, PN-1 was overexpressed exclusively in the nerves of PN-1 KO mice. Neuronal PN-1 expression did not rescue the delayed reinnervation. The results suggest that Schwann cell-derived PN-1 is crucial for proper reinnervation through its contribution to the autocrine control of proliferation and survival. Thus, the precise balance between distinct proteases and serpins such as PN-1 can modulate the overall impact on the kinetics of recovery.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0277-07.2007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6672422PMC
April 2007

Casein kinase 2-dependent serine phosphorylation of MuSK regulates acetylcholine receptor aggregation at the neuromuscular junction.

Genes Dev 2006 Jul;20(13):1800-16

Institut für Biochemie, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, D-91054 Erlangen, Germany.

The release of Agrin by motoneurons activates the muscle-specific receptor tyrosine kinase (MuSK) as the main organizer of subsynaptic specializations at the neuromuscular junction. MuSK downstream signaling is largely undefined. Here we show that protein kinase CK2 interacts and colocalizes with MuSK at post-synaptic specializations. We observed CK2-mediated phosphorylation of serine residues within the kinase insert (KI) of MuSK. Inhibition or knockdown of CK2, or exchange of phosphorylatable serines by alanines within the KI of MuSK, impaired acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clustering, whereas their substitution by residues that imitate constitutive phosphorylation led to aggregation of AChRs even in the presence of CK2 inhibitors. Impairment of AChR cluster formation after replacement of MuSK KI with KIs of other receptor tyrosine kinases correlates with potential CK2-dependent serine phosphorylation within KIs. MuSK activity was unchanged but AChR stability decreased in the presence of CK2 inhibitors. Muscle-specific CK2beta knockout mice develop a myasthenic phenotype due to impaired muscle endplate structure and function. This is the first description of a regulatory cross-talk between MuSK and CK2 and of a role for the KI of the receptor tyrosine kinase MuSK for the development of subsynaptic specializations.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gad.375206DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1522076PMC
July 2006

Accumulation of Nav1 mRNAs at differentiating postsynaptic sites in rat soleus muscles.

Mol Cell Neurosci 2005 Apr;28(4):694-702

School of Neurology, Neurobiology and Psychiatry, The Medical School, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Framlington Place, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE2 4HH, UK.

Acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) and voltage-gated sodium channels (Na(V)1s) accumulate at different times in the development of the murine neuromuscular junction (NMJ). We used in situ hybridization to study the relationship of Na(V)1 mRNA accumulation to this difference. mRNAs encoding both muscle Na(V)1 isoforms, Na(v)1.4 and Na(v)1.5, were first concentrated at NMJs at birth, when the proteins start to accumulate. Within 4 weeks, Na(v)1.4 mRNA increased 5-fold at the NMJ while Na(v)1.5 mRNA became undetectable. Na(V)1 mRNA accumulation occurred even if the nerve was cut at birth. Like AChR mRNA, Na(V)1 mRNA accumulated at denervated synaptic sites on regenerating muscles and in response to ectopically expressed neural agrin. Clustering of Na(V)1 at the NMJ follows that of its mRNA while AChR clustering precedes its mRNA clustering by several days. This suggests that factors other than local mRNA upregulation determine the timing of clustering of these two important postsynaptic ion channels.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mcn.2004.11.015DOI Listing
April 2005

A novel pathway for MuSK to induce key genes in neuromuscular synapse formation.

J Cell Biol 2003 May 19;161(4):727-36. Epub 2003 May 19.

Department of Physiology, University of Basel, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.

At the developing neuromuscular junction the Agrin receptor MuSK is the central organizer of subsynaptic differentiation induced by Agrin from the nerve. The expression of musk itself is also regulated by the nerve, but the mechanisms involved are not known. Here, we analyzed the activation of a musk promoter reporter construct in muscle fibers in vivo and in cultured myotubes, using transfection of multiple combinations of expression vectors for potential signaling components. We show that neuronal Agrin by activating MuSK regulates the expression of musk via two pathways: the Agrin-induced assembly of muscle-derived neuregulin (NRG)-1/ErbB, the pathway thought to regulate acetylcholine receptor (AChR) expression at the synapse, and via a direct shunt involving Agrin-induced activation of Rac. Both pathways converge onto the same regulatory element in the musk promoter that is also thought to confer synapse-specific expression to AChR subunit genes. In this way, a positive feedback signaling loop is established that maintains musk expression at the synapse when impulse transmission becomes functional. The same pathways are used to regulate synaptic expression of AChR epsilon. We propose that the novel pathway stabilizes the synapse early in development, whereas the NRG/ErbB pathway supports maintenance of the mature synapse.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.200210156DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2199368PMC
May 2003

Erbb2 regulates neuromuscular synapse formation and is essential for muscle spindle development.

Development 2003 Jun;130(11):2291-301

Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Maulbeerstr. 66, 4058 Basel, Switzerland.

Neuregulins and their Erbb receptors have been implicated in neuromuscular synapse formation by regulating gene expression in subsynaptic nuclei. To analyze the function of Erbb2 in this process, we have inactivated the Erbb2 gene in developing muscle fibers by Cre/Lox-mediated gene ablation. Neuromuscular synapses form in the mutant mice, but the synapses are less efficient and contain reduced levels of acetylcholine receptors. Surprisingly, the mutant mice also show proprioceptive defects caused by abnormal muscle spindle development. Sensory Ia afferent neurons establish initial contact with Erbb2-deficient myotubes. However, functional spindles never develop. Taken together, our data suggest that Erbb2 signaling regulates the formation of both neuromuscular synapses and muscle spindles.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.00447DOI Listing
June 2003

Agrin regulates rapsyn interaction with surface acetylcholine receptors, and this underlies cytoskeletal anchoring and clustering.

J Biol Chem 2003 Feb 16;278(9):7350-9. Epub 2002 Dec 16.

Department of Neurochemistry, Brain Research Institute, University of Zürich, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland.

The acetylcholine receptor (AChR)-associated protein rapsyn is essential for neuromuscular synapse formation and clustering of AChRs, but its mode of action remains unclear. We have investigated whether agrin, a key nerve-derived synaptogenic factor, influences rapsyn-AChR interactions and how this affects clustering and cytoskeletal linkage of AChRs. By precipitating AChRs and probing for associated rapsyn, we found that in denervated diaphragm rapsyn associates with synaptic as well as with extrasynaptic AChRs showing that rapsyn interacts with unclustered AChRs in vivo. Interestingly, synaptic AChRs are associated with more rapsyn suggesting that clustering of AChRs may require increased interaction with rapsyn. In similar experiments in cultured myotubes, rapsyn interacted with intracellular AChRs and with unclustered AChRs at the cell surface, although surface interactions are much more prominent. Remarkably, agrin induces recruitment of additional rapsyn to surface AChRs and clustering of AChRs independently of the secretory pathway. This agrin-induced increase in rapsyn-AChR interaction strongly correlates with clustering, because staurosporine and herbimycin blocked both the increase and clustering. Conversely, laminin and calcium induced both increased rapsyn-AChR interaction and AChR clustering. Finally, time course experiments revealed that the agrin-induced increase occurs with AChRs that become cytoskeletally linked, and that this precedes receptor clustering. Thus, we propose that neural agrin controls postsynaptic aggregation of the AChR by enhancing rapsyn interaction with surface AChRs and inducing cytoskeletal anchoring and that this is an important precursor step for AChR clustering.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M210865200DOI Listing
February 2003

Proteomic analysis of secreted muscle components: search for factors involved in neuromuscular synapse formation.

Proteomics 2002 Nov;2(11):1601-15

Department of Physiology, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Denervated but not innervated skeletal muscles secrete polypeptides that are involved in neuromuscular synapse formation. With the aim of identifying such components, metabolically labeled polypeptides in extracts from denervated and innervated muscles were submitted to two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and the abundance of individual molecular species was compared. Consistent differences between the proteomic maps from the two sources of muscles were seen. Likewise, proteomic maps of polypeptides from organ culture media conditioned by chronically denervated muscles and by control muscles revealed consistent differences, but the abundance of material within individual spots from conditioned media was not sufficient for analysis by mass spectrometry. Since it was not possible to match the patterns from muscle extracts and from conditioned media, it has been established that extract of Sol8 muscle cells was a satisfactory source of material for analysis. From 1,200 spots identified on the proteomic map from Sol8 cells by image analysis, some 140 have been defined by mass spectrometric analysis. In order to identify the components that are shared by secreted molecules from denervated muscles and Sol8 cells, a mixture of extracts from the two sources was co-electrophoresed and a shared proteomic pattern was established by visualization of metabolically labeled spots from the conditioned medium and of silver stained spots from the Sol8 cells. More than 100 spots sharing x/y coordinate localization could be seen on the pattern. Of these, fourteen were among those identified by mass spectrometry. It is concluded that co-electrophoresis of radioactively labeled polypeptides from conditioned media with extracts from Sol8 cells can be used to mark in the proteome of Sol8 cells those polypeptides that are secreted at low abundance by adult muscles. Their higher abundance in Sol8 cells opens the possibility for further scrutiny of spots by mass spectrometry or by microsequencing.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1615-9861(200211)2:11<1601::AID-PROT1601>3.0.CO;2-NDOI Listing
November 2002