Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 1 (EAAT1) is a plasma-membrane glutamate transporter belonging to the SLC1 family of solute carriers . It plays a key role in neurotransmitter transport and contributes to the regulation of the extracellular glutamate concentration in the mammalian brain. The structure of EAAT1 was determined in complex with UCPH-101, a highly potent and non-competitive inhibitor of EAAT1. Alanine Serine Cysteine Transporter 2 (ASCT2) is a neutral amino acid transporter, which regulates pools of amino acids such as glutamine, serine and alanine between intracellular and extracellular compartments in a Na+ dependent manner. ASCT2 also belongs to the SLC1 family and shares 58% sequence similarity with EAAT1. However, allosteric modulation of ASCT2 via non-competitive inhibitors is unknown. Here we explore the UCPH-101 inhibitory mechanisms of EAAT1 and ASCT2 by using rapid kinetic experiments. Our results show that UCPH-101 slows substrate translocation rather than substrate or Na+ binding, confirming a non-competitive inhibitory mechanism, but only partially inhibits wild-type ASCT2 with relatively low affinity. Guided by computational modeling using ligand docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we selected two residues involved in UCPH-101/EAAT1 interaction, which were mutated in ASCT2 (F136Y, I237M, F136Y/I237M) in the corresponding positions. We show that in the F136Y/I237M double mutant transporter, 100% of the inhibitory effect of UCPH-101 on anion current could be restored, and the apparent affinity was increased (Ki = 9.3 mM), much closer to the EAAT1 value of 0.6 mM. Finally, we identify a novel non-competitive ASCT2 inhibitor, identified through virtual screening and experimental testing against the allosteric site, further supporting its localization. Together, these data indicate that the mechanism of allosteric modulation is conserved between EAAT1 and ASCT2. Due to the difference in binding site residues between ASCT2 and EAAT1, these results raise the possibility that more potent, and potentially selective inhibitors can be designed that target the ASCT2 allosteric binding site.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting file. The original, source data files were uploaded as spreadsheets for figures 3-10, Table 1, and Figure supplements 3,4,5,6 and 9. The MD parametrization files for UCPH-101 are also included.
- Avner Schlessinger
- Christof Grewer
- Rachel-Ann Garibsingh
- Christof Grewer
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Randy B Stockbridge, University of Michigan, United States
© 2023, Dong 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.
Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is essential for long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory synapses that is linked to learning and memory. In this study, we focused on understanding how interactions between CaMKIIα and the actin-crosslinking protein α-actinin-2 underlie long-lasting changes in dendritic spine architecture. We found that association of the two proteins was unexpectedly elevated within 2 minutes of NMDA receptor stimulation that triggers structural LTP in primary hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, disruption of interactions between the two proteins prevented the accumulation of enlarged mushroom-type dendritic spines following NMDA receptor activation. α-Actinin-2 binds to the regulatory segment of CaMKII. Calorimetry experiments, and a crystal structure of α-actinin-2 EF hands 3 and 4 in complex with the CaMKII regulatory segment, indicate that the regulatory segment of autoinhibited CaMKII is not fully accessible to α-actinin-2. Pull-down experiments show that occupation of the CaMKII substrate-binding groove by GluN2B markedly increases α-actinin-2 access to the CaMKII regulatory segment. Furthermore, in situ labelling experiments are consistent with the notion that recruitment of CaMKII to NMDA receptors contributes to elevated interactions between the kinase and α-actinin-2 during structural LTP. Overall, our study provides new mechanistic insight into the molecular basis of structural LTP and reveals an added layer of sophistication to the function of CaMKII.
Interactions between an enzyme kinase, an ion channel and cytoskeletal proteins maintain the structure of synapses involved in memory formation.