Publications by authors named "Kaitlin Markoja"

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VER/VEGF receptors regulate AMPA receptor surface levels and glutamatergic behavior.

PLoS Genet 2021 Feb 9;17(2):e1009375. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Department of Developmental, Molecular, and Chemical Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Several intracellular trafficking pathways contribute to the regulation of AMPA receptor (AMPAR) levels at synapses and the control of synaptic strength. While much has been learned about these intracellular trafficking pathways, a major challenge is to understand how extracellular factors, such as growth factors, neuropeptides and hormones, impinge on specific AMPAR trafficking pathways to alter synaptic function and behavior. Here, we identify the secreted ligand PVF-1 and its cognate VEGF receptor homologs, VER-1 and VER-4, as regulators of glutamate signaling in C. elegans. Loss of function mutations in ver-1, ver-4, or pvf-1, result in decreased cell surface levels of the AMPAR GLR-1 and defects in glutamatergic behavior. Rescue experiments indicate that PVF-1 is expressed and released from muscle, whereas the VERs function in GLR-1-expressing neurons to regulate surface levels of GLR-1 and glutamatergic behavior. Additionally, ver-4 is unable to rescue glutamatergic behavior in the absence of pvf-1, suggesting that VER function requires endogenous PVF-1. Inducible expression of a pvf-1 rescuing transgene suggests that PVF-1 can function in the mature nervous system to regulate GLR-1 signaling. Genetic double mutant analysis suggests that the VERs act together with the VPS-35/retromer recycling complex to promote cell surface levels of GLR-1. Our data support a genetic model whereby PVF-1/VER signaling acts with retromer to promote recycling and cell surface levels of GLR-1 to control behavior.
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February 2021