Loss-of-function variants in SYNGAP1 cause a developmental encephalopathy defined by cognitive impairment, autistic features, and epilepsy. SYNGAP1 splicing leads to expression of distinct functional protein isoforms. Splicing imparts multiple cellular functions of SynGAP proteins through coding of distinct C-terminal motifs. However, it remains unknown how these different splice sequences function in vivo to regulate neuronal function and behavior. Reduced expression of SynGAP-a1/2 C-terminal splice variants in mice caused severe phenotypes, including reduced survival, impaired learning, and reduced seizure latency. In contrast, upregulation of a1/2 expression improved learning and increased seizure latency. Mice expressing a1-specific mutations, which disrupted SynGAP cellular functions without altering protein expression, promoted seizure, disrupted synapse plasticity, and impaired learning. These findings demonstrate that endogenous SynGAP isoforms with a1/2 spliced sequences promote cognitive function and impart seizure protection. Regulation of SynGAP-a expression or function may be a viable therapeutic strategy to broadly improve cognitive function and mitigate seizure.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting file; Source Data files have been provided for western blots and mass spec experiments.
- Gavin Rumbaugh
- Murat Kilinc
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols (#15-037 and #15-038) of Scripps Florida.
- Gary L Westbrook, Oregon Health and Science University, United States
© 2022, Kilinc et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is classically linked to inhibitory control, emotion regulation, and reward processing. Recent perspectives propose that the OFC also generates predictions about perceptual events, actions, and their outcomes. We tested the role of the OFC in detecting violations of prediction at two levels of abstraction (i.e., hierarchical predictive processing) by studying the event-related potentials (ERPs) of patients with focal OFC lesions (n = 12) and healthy controls (n = 14) while they detected deviant sequences of tones in a local–global paradigm. The structural regularities of the tones were controlled at two hierarchical levels by rules defined at a local (i.e., between tones within sequences) and at a global (i.e., between sequences) level. In OFC patients, ERPs elicited by standard tones were unaffected at both local and global levels compared to controls. However, patients showed an attenuated mismatch negativity (MMN) and P3a to local prediction violation, as well as a diminished MMN followed by a delayed P3a to the combined local and global level prediction violation. The subsequent P3b component to conditions involving violations of prediction at the level of global rules was preserved in the OFC group. Comparable effects were absent in patients with lesions restricted to the lateral PFC, which lends a degree of anatomical specificity to the altered predictive processing resulting from OFC lesion. Overall, the altered magnitudes and time courses of MMN/P3a responses after lesions to the OFC indicate that the neural correlates of detection of auditory regularity violation are impacted at two hierarchical levels of rule abstraction.
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