RGD Reference Report - Presynaptic Neuronal Pentraxin Receptor Organizes Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses. - Rat Genome Database

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Presynaptic Neuronal Pentraxin Receptor Organizes Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses.

Authors: Lee, Sung-Jin  Wei, Mengping  Zhang, Chen  Maxeiner, Stephan  Pak, ChangHui  Calado Botelho, Salome  Trotter, Justin  Sterky, Fredrik H  Südhof, Thomas C 
Citation: Lee SJ, etal., J Neurosci. 2017 Feb 1;37(5):1062-1080. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2768-16.2016. Epub 2016 Dec 16.
RGD ID: 13702245
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:27986928
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2768-16.2016

Three neuronal pentraxins are expressed in brain, the membrane-bound "neuronal pentraxin receptor" (NPR) and the secreted proteins NP1 and NARP (i.e., NP2). Neuronal pentraxins bind to AMPARs at excitatory synapses and play important, well-documented roles in the activity-dependent regulation of neural circuits via this binding activity. However, it is unknown whether neuronal pentraxins perform roles in synapses beyond modulating postsynaptic AMPAR-dependent plasticity, and whether they may even act in inhibitory synapses. Here, we show that NPR expressed in non-neuronal cells potently induces formation of both excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic specializations in cocultured hippocampal neurons. Knockdown of NPR in hippocampal neurons, conversely, dramatically decreased assembly and function of both excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic specializations. Overexpression of NPR rescued the NPR knockdown phenotype but did not in itself change synapse numbers or properties. However, the NPR knockdown decreased the levels of NARP, whereas NPR overexpression produced a dramatic increase in the levels of NP1 and NARP, suggesting that NPR recruits and stabilizes NP1 and NARP on the presynaptic plasma membrane. Mechanistically, NPR acted in excitatory synapse assembly by binding to the N-terminal domain of AMPARs; antagonists of AMPA and GABA receptors selectively inhibited NPR-induced heterologous excitatory and inhibitory synapse assembly, respectively, but did not affect neurexin-1ß-induced synapse assembly as a control. Our data suggest that neuronal pentraxins act as signaling complexes that function as general trans-synaptic organizers of both excitatory and inhibitory synapses by a mechanism that depends, at least in part, on the activity of the neurotransmitter receptors at these synapses.
SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Neuronal pentraxins comprise three neuronal proteins, neuronal pentraxin receptor (NPR) which is a type-II transmembrane protein on the neuronal surface, and secreted neuronal pentraxin-1 and NARP. The general functions of neuronal pentraxins at synapses have not been explored, except for their basic AMPAR binding properties. Here, we examined the functional role of NPR at synapses because it is the only neuronal pentraxin that is anchored to the neuronal cell-surface membrane. We find that NPR is a potent inducer of both excitatory and inhibitory heterologous synapses, and that knockdown of NPR in cultured neurons decreases the density of both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Our data suggest that NPR performs a general, previously unrecognized function as a universal organizer of synapses.


Gene Ontology Annotations    

Biological Process

Objects Annotated

Genes (Rattus norvegicus)
Nptxr  (neuronal pentraxin receptor)

Additional Information