Publications by authors named "Zora Chui-Kuen Chan"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Grp94 Regulates the Recruitment of Aneural AChR Clusters for the Assembly of Postsynaptic Specializations by Modulating ADF/Cofilin Activity and Turnover.

eNeuro 2020 Sep/Oct;7(5). Epub 2020 Sep 8.

School of Biomedical Sciences, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Temperature is a physiological factor that affects neuronal growth and synaptic homeostasis at the invertebrate neuromuscular junctions (NMJs); however, whether temperature stress could also regulate the structure and function of the vertebrate NMJs remains unclear. In this study, we use primary cultures as a vertebrate model system for investigating the involvement of heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) family of stress proteins in NMJ development. First, cold temperature treatment or HSP90 inhibition attenuates the formation of aneural acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clusters, but increases their stability after they are formed, in cultured muscles. HSP90 inhibition specifically affects the stability of aneural AChR clusters and their associated intracellular scaffolding protein rapsyn, instead of causing a global change in cell metabolism and protein expression in muscle cultures. Upon synaptogenic stimulation, a specific HSP90 family member, glucose-regulated protein 94 (Grp94), modulates the phosphorylation and dynamic turnover of actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin at aneural AChR clusters, leading to the recruitment of AChR molecules from aneural clusters to the assembly of agrin-induced postsynaptic specializations. Finally, postsynaptic Grp94 knock-down significantly inhibits nerve-induced AChR clustering and postsynaptic activity in nerve-muscle co-cultures as demonstrated by live-cell imaging and electrophysiological recording, respectively. Collectively, this study suggests that temperature-dependent alteration in Grp94 expression and activity inhibits the assembly of postsynaptic specializations through modulating ADF/cofilin phosphorylation and activity at aneural AChR clusters, which prevents AChR molecules from being recruited to the postsynaptic sites via actin-dependent vesicular trafficking, at developing vertebrate NMJs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0025-20.2020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7540925PMC
September 2020

Site-directed MT1-MMP trafficking and surface insertion regulate AChR clustering and remodeling at developing NMJs.

Elife 2020 03 24;9. Epub 2020 Mar 24.

School of Biomedical Sciences, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

At vertebrate neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), the synaptic basal lamina contains different extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and synaptogenic factors that induce and maintain synaptic specializations. Here, we report that podosome-like structures (PLSs) induced by ubiquitous ECM proteins regulate the formation and remodeling of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clusters via focal ECM degradation. Mechanistically, ECM degradation is mediated by PLS-directed trafficking and surface insertion of membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) to AChR clusters through microtubule-capturing mechanisms. Upon synaptic induction, MT1-MMP plays a crucial role in the recruitment of aneural AChR clusters for the assembly of postsynaptic specializations. Lastly, the structural defects of NMJs in embryonic MT1-MMP mice further demonstrate the physiological role of MT1-MMP in normal NMJ development. Collectively, this study suggests that postsynaptic MT1-MMP serves as a molecular switch to synaptogenesis by modulating local ECM environment for the deposition of synaptogenic signals that regulate postsynaptic differentiation at developing NMJs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.54379DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7093154PMC
March 2020

MMP-mediated modulation of ECM environment during axonal growth and NMJ development.

Neurosci Lett 2020 04 12;724:134822. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

School of Biomedical Sciences, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Electronic address:

Motor neurons, skeletal muscles, and perisynaptic Schwann cells interact with extracellular matrix (ECM) to form the tetrapartite synapse in the peripheral nervous system. Dynamic remodeling of ECM composition is essential to diversify its functions for distinct cellular processes during neuromuscular junction (NMJ) development. In this review, we give an overview of the proteolytic regulation of ECM proteins, particularly by secreted and membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), in axonal growth and NMJ development. It is suggested that MMP-2, MMP-9, and membrane type 1-MMP (MT1-MMP) promote axonal outgrowth and regeneration upon injury by clearing the glial scars at the lesion site. In addition, these MMPs also play roles in neuromuscular synaptogenesis, ranging from spontaneous formation of synaptic specializations to activity-dependent synaptic elimination, via proteolytic cleavage or degradation of growth factors, neurotrophic factors, and ECM molecules. For instance, secreted MMP-3 has been known to cleave agrin, the main postsynaptic differentiation inducer, further highlighting the importance of MMPs in NMJ formation and maintenance. Furthermore, the increased level of several MMPs in myasthenia gravis (MG) patient suggest the pathophysiological mechanisms of MMP-mediated proteolytic degradation in MG pathogenesis. Finally, we speculate on potential major future directions for studying the regulatory functions of MMP-mediated ECM remodeling in axonal growth and NMJ development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2020.134822DOI Listing
April 2020