Regulation of intracellular calcium channels by their associated proteins homer 1 and presenilin 1




Hwang, Sung-Yong


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Sung-Yong, Hwang, Regulation of intracellular calcium channels by their associated proteins homer 1 and presenilin 1. Doctor of Philosophy (Pharmacology and Neuroscience), May, 2006, 184 pp., 4 tables, 20 illustrations, 74 titles. In neurons, Calcium (CA2+) serves as a critical intracellular messenger that regulates a variety of cellular processes such as gene expression, neurotransmitter release, cell death, and synaptic plasticity. Therefore, it is essential for neurons to control their Ca2+ levels tightly. Ca2+ is released within the cell from intracellular stores such as the endoplasmic reticulum by activation of intracellular Ca2+ channels (ICCs) such as the inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (IP3) receptors (IP3Rs) and ryanodine receptors (RyRs). Each of these two groups of ICC has three isoforms. A number of associated proteins of these two ICCs that were shown to modulate activity of the respective channel have been identified. Homer 1, a synaptic scaffolding protein not only physically associated with IP3R type1 (IP3R1), but also changes the activity of IP3R1, suggesting that Homer 1 is involved in intracellular Ca2+ signaling. Based on the similarity in amino acid sequence and molecular and physiological properties among IP3R isoforms and the fact that IP3R type 3 (IP3R3) contains the proline-rich motif (PPxxFr) that is required for the interaction with Homer, it was hypothesized that Homer 1 associates with IP3R3, leading to changes in the channel activity. Presenilin 1 (PS1) is a transmembrane protein, being expressed in cell body, dendrites, and axon in the neuron. Mutations in PS1 account for most cases of early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease (AD). PS1 was shown to associate with RyRs and to modulate their channel activity. Therefore, it was hypothesized that specific regions of PS-1 bind to RyR type 2 (RyR2), a major isoform in the brain, resulting in changes in the channel activity. Homer 1c was shown to associate with IP3R3, leading to a decrease in channel activity. A specific region of PS1 that interacts with RyR2 was identified to increase the channel activity of RyR2. Results of the present study contributed to the understanding of the nature of intracellular Ca2+ signaling as well as the mechanisms of action by which ICCs are regulated by their associated proteins. These findings provide the rationale for novel strategies to study neurological disorders including AD and epilepsy that are mediated by Ca2+ dysregulation.