Presenilin-1/γ-secretase controls glutamate release, tyrosine phosphorylation, and surface expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) subunit GluN2B
Xuan, Z.; Barthet, G.; Shioi, J.; Xu, J.; Georgakopoulos, A.; Bruban, J.; Robakis, N.K.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 288(42): 30495-30501
ISSN/ISBN: 1083-351X PMID: 24025330 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.m113.499004
Abnormally high concentrations of extracellular glutamate in the brain may cause neuronal damage via excitotoxicity. Thus, tight regulation of glutamate release is critical to neuronal function and survival. Excitotoxicity is caused mainly by overactivation of the extrasynaptic NMDA receptor (NMDAR) and results in specific cellular changes, including calcium-induced activation of calpain proteases. Here, we report that presenilin-1 (PS1) null mouse cortical neuronal cultures have increased amounts of calpain-dependent spectrin breakdown products (SBDPs) compared with WT cultures. NMDAR antagonists blocked accumulation of SBDPs, suggesting abnormal activation of this receptor in PS1 null cultures. Importantly, an increase in SBDPs was detected in cultures of at least 7 days in vitro but not in younger cultures. Conditioned medium from PS1 null neuronal cultures at 8 days in vitro contained higher levels of glutamate than medium from WT cultures and stimulated production of SBDPs when added to WT cultures. Use of glutamate reuptake inhibitors indicated that accumulation of this neurotransmitter in the media of PS1 null cultures was due to increased rates of release. PS1 null neurons showed decreased cell surface expression and phosphorylation of the GluN2B subunit of NMDAR, indicating decreased amounts of extrasynaptic NMDAR in the absence of PS1. Inhibition of γ-secretase activity in WT neurons caused changes similar to those observed in PS1 null neurons. Together, these data indicate that the PS1/γ-secretase system regulates release of glutamate, tyrosine phosphorylation, and surface expression of GluN2B-containing NMDARs.