An epilepsy-associated GRIN2A rare variant disrupts CaMKIIα phosphorylation of GluN2A andNMDA receptor trafficking
A new collaborative study led by the Roche's Lab at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), is now published in Cell Reports. This study identified CaMKIIα phosphorylation of the GluN2A subunit on Ser-1459 as a mechanism regulating NMDA receptor trafficking. An epilepsy-associated rare variant at this same residue, GluN2A-S1459G, results in altered protein interactions, decreased NMDA receptor surface expression, and reduced synaptic function, providing potential insight into an epilepsy phenotype. Congratulations to the lead author, Dr. Marta Vieira, and Katherine on this beautiful work.
We are excited to share our new work, "Altered expression of the m6A methyltransferase METTL3 in Alzheimer's disease", which has just been published in eNeuro. Here we report a decrease in the expression of METTL3 mRNA and soluble protein in the postmortem hippocampal tissues of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. We also identified a striking alteration in the METLL3 protein expression, including enhanced insolubility and immunoreactivity in the AD hippocampus. Our results suggest that perturbation of m6A signalling may present a novel cellular mechanisms underpinning dysregulation of gene expression associated with AD pathophysiology. Congratulations to River and Jocelyn who led this study and to our QBI collaborators, Drs. Judith Camats-Perna and Rodrigo Medeiros.
We wish to congratulate the following lab members for their achievements:
We are delighted that our study, primarily done by Jocelyn and Jun Wei, has just been published in Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology. Here, we demonstrated the cross-modulation between the ubiquitination and phosphorylation of the GluA2 subunit of AMPA receptors by protein kinase C (PKC). Interestingly, this effect is specific for GluA2 as phorbol ester does not potentiate bicuculline-induced ubiquitination of the GluA1 subunit. We envisage that the binding of glutamate on AMPARs in neurons with high level of PKC activity (such as following the activation of mGluRs) will result in subunit-specific regulation of AMPAR ubiquitination and intracellular sorting, which ultimately govern the subunit composition and number of AMPARs, including the Ca2+-permeable AMPARs at synapses.
SFPQ is an abundant and ubiquitous nuclear RNA-binding protein (RBP) that has been implicated in gene regulation and subnuclear body formation. In a study led by Dr. Mihwa Lee (La Trobe University, Melbourne), we report the crystal structure of SFPQ in complex with Zn(II), which reveals an infinite polymer of SFPQ mediated by Zn(II) binding to the protein. The application of Zn(II) to primary cortical neurons induced the cytoplasmic accumulation and aggregation of SFPQ. Mutagenesis of the three Zn(II)-coordinating histidine residues resulted in a significant reduction in the zinc-binding affinity of SFPQ in solution and the Zn(II)-induced cytoplasmic aggregation of SFPQ in cultured neurons. This study, which was published in Nucleic Acids Research, offers a new framework for how metal-induced polymerization of RBPs can induce cytoplasmic aggregation, which are commonly associated with neurodegenerative diseases.
The N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors (NMDARs) mediate calcium-dependent signaling that underpins multiple forms of synaptic plasticity. Different GluN2 (GluN2A-D) subunit confers NMDARs with distinct ion channel properties and intracellular trafficking pathways. In a review article which has just been published in Journal of Neurochemistry, we discuss the current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that regulate the trafficking of GluN2-containing NMDARs, focusing on the roles of several key synaptic proteins that interact via their carboxyl termini. This review article is a joint effort with our collaborator Prof. Katherine Roche (NINDS, NIH). Congratulations to Marta (Roche Lab) and Hilary (Anggono Lab) on an excellent work.
We are excited to welcome Dr. Anson Tan (postdoctoral fellow) and Mr. Sooraj Das (PhD student), who have just joined the Anggono Lab to investigate the mechanisms of glutamate receptor trafficking in neurons. Anson received his PhD from the University of Melbourne studying the mechanisms of APP trafficking under the supervision of Prof. Paul Gleeson, while Sooraj received his BS-MS double degree from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune, India. We are also very fortunate to retain Ms Hilary Yong (former Research Assistant), who will pursue her PhD degree in the lab. Both Sooraj and Hilary received highly competitive Research Training Program Scholarships from the Australian Government.
Modulation of L-type voltage-gated calcium channels by 1,25-dihyroxyvitamin D in developing medial prefrontal cortex
Genetic variants in genes encoding L-type voltage-gated calcium channel (L-VGCC) subtypes are associated with increased risk for schizophrenia. Likewise, epidemiological study has implicated developmental vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for schizophrenia. In the latest study published in Translational Psychiatry, we (led by Prof. John McGrath of QBI, UQ and Aarhus University, Denmark) showed that the active vitamin D metabolite exert a rapid, non-genomic modulation of L-VGCCs in a subset of neurons in developing medial prefrontal cortex in mice. Optimal modulation of L-VGCCs by 1,25(OH)2-vitamin D may therefore contribute to the healthy development of Vitamin D-responsive neurons within the maturing cortical circuits.
A collaborative study led by a PhD student, Eunice Wong from the Degnan's Labs (School of Biological Sciences, UQ), has revealed ancient submodules of co-expressed "synaptic gene" orthologues during development and in cell type-specific manners. Although synapses do not exist in the sponge, these submodules may contribute to sensory roles in specific cell types in the sponge. The paper was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
We are delighted to welcome Mr. Liming Yang, a third year Bachelor of Medical Science student from the University of Exeter, UK. Liming will undertake a one-year research in the Anggono Lab as part of the Professional Training Year programme.
A collaborative study from the van Swinderen laboratory (QBI, UQ) published in Anesthesiology, has shown that transiently expressing a truncated syntaxin1A (Δ227) in adult Drosophila flies facilitates recovery from isoflurane anesthesia. Interestingly, our biochemical study revealed that the truncated syntaxin1A is absence from the presynaptic SNARE complex, suggesting that the resistance-promoting effect occurs prior to SNARE formation.
We are delighted to host Dr. Rosie Bamford from the Oguro-Ando's Lab, our collaborator at the Exeter University, UK for one month. Rosie was awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship, which supported her trip to Brisbane. Congratulations and welcome to the lab.
A big congratulations to Joanne, who has been awarded her PhD degree and has officially became our lab's first PhD graduate. Well done!!!
We are proud to be part of a new study, published in Scientific Reports, confirming the link between neonatal vitamin D deficiency and the risk of schizophrenia. This study led by our collaborator Prof. John McGrath (QBI, UQ and Aarhus University, Denmark) was based on 2602 individuals (born between 1981-2000) from the Danish national registry. This is the largest study of its kind to date. [Press Release] [Infographic]
The 38th annual scientific meeting of the Australasian Neuroscience Society (ANS) was held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in Brisbane from 3 to 6 Dec 2018. Members of the Anggono Lab were active participants in this year meeting. Victor was the co-Chair of the Local Organising Committee. He also organised the pre-meeting Imaging Workshop, which was a success. Jocelyn, Iris, Ellen and Hilary presented their works in various symposia and oral sessions. Meanwhile, Sumasri and Tianyi also presented posters at the meeting.
Victor received an ARC Discovery Project Grant to study the regulatory mechanism of NMDA receptor trafficking by protein phosphorylation. This project is supported by our collaborators, Dr. Angelo Keramidas (QBI, UQ), A/Prof. Brett Collins (IMB, UQ) and Prof. Katherine Roche (National Institutes of Health, USA), all of whom are co-Investigators in this successful grant application.
A new collaborative paper in Cerebral Cortex led by the lab of A/Prof. Michael Piper (School of Biomedical Sciences, UQ) has revealed a role of the transcription factor NFIX (Nucleor Factor I X) in neuroblast migration within the adult mouse ventricular - subventricular zone. Conditional ablation of NFIX from neural stem or progenitor cells, or neuroblasts causes migration defects due to aberrant neuroblast branching, partly resulted from an increased expression of the guanylyl cyclase natriuretic peptide receptor 2 (Npr2). Congratulations to the team, especially Oressia and Lachlan from the Piper Lab!
The CASS Foundation has awarded Jocelyn a travel grant to present at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), which will be held on November 3-7, 2018 in San Diego, USA. Congratulations!
In addition to her role as a panel member of a career development workshop and presentation of an invited talk, Jocelyn also had the opportunity to meet Prof. Rendy Schekman (2013 Nobel Laureate in Medicine) of UC Berkeley at the recent ComBio2018 meeting in Sydney. Thanks to ASBMB for promoting and supporting our ECRs.
Jocelyn receives the Queensland Protein Group (QPG)-sponsored travel prize to attend and present a talk at ComBio2018 in Sydney. Well done!
We are delighted to have 3 new students joining the lab in July 2018. They are River Huang (PhD student), Huimin Guo (MSc student) and Wendy Kao (Honours student). River was supported by a highly competitive UQ Research Training Scholarship. Congrats and warm welcome to our newest members in the lab.
Jocelyn's new review article in the Journal of Neurochemistry is now online. N6-methyladenosine (m6A), the most prevalent internal modification on eukaryotic RNA, modulates transcript stability, splicing and translation efficiency. Activity-dependent m6A in the central nervous system provides a versatile and important mechanism to control RNA structure and function. This review article provides the current knowledge of m6A function and mechanism in neurobiology, highlighting the critical roles of m6A-epitranscriptomic regulation in multiple aspects of the mammalian nervous system, from neural development to plasticity in learning and memory.
We were delighted to host Dr. Asami Oguro-Ando from the University of Exeter for the week at the Queensland Brain Institute. It was a productive visit. Thanks to the QUEX Institute Initiator Grant Scheme for the support.
Synaptic Neurobiology Lab