The effector and scaffolding proteins AF6 and MUPP1 interact with connexin36 and localize at gap junctions that form electrical synapses in rodent brain

X. Li, B. D. Lynn, J. I. Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Electrical synapses formed by neuronal gap junctions composed of connexin36 (Cx36) occur in most major structures in the mammalian central nervous system. These synapses link ensembles of neurons and influence their network properties. Little is known about the macromolecular constituents of neuronal gap junctions or how transmission through electrical synapses is regulated at the level of channel conductance or gap junction assembly/disassembly. Such knowledge is a prerequisite to understanding the roles of gap junctions in neuronal circuitry. Gap junctions share similarities with tight and adhesion junctions in that all three reside at close plasma membrane appositions, and therefore may associate with similar structural and regulatory proteins. Previously, we reported that the tight junction-associated protein zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) interacts with Cx36 and is localized at gap junctions. Here, we demonstrate that two proteins known to be associated with tight and adherens junctions, namely AF6 and MUPP1, are components of neuronal gap junctions in rodent brain. By immunofluorescence, AF6 and MUPP1 were co-localized with Cx36 in many brain areas. Co-immunoprecipitation and pull-down approaches revealed an association of Cx36 with AF6 and MUPP1, which required the C-terminus PDZ domain interaction motif of Cx36 for interaction with the single PDZ domain of AF6 and with the 10th PDZ domain of MUPP1. As AF6 is a target of the cAMP/Epac/Rap1 signalling pathway and MUPP1 is a scaffolding protein that interacts with CaMKII, the present results suggest that AF6 may be a target for cAMP/Epac/Rap1 signalling at electrical synapses, and that MUPP1 may contribute to anchoring CaMKII at these synapses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-181
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Afadin
  • Gap junctions
  • Neurons
  • PDZ domains
  • Rap1 signalling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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