October 29, 2020

Aberrant DJ-1 expression underlies L-type calcium channel hypoactivity in tuberous sclerosis complex and Alzheimer’s disease

L-type voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (L-VDCC) integrate synaptic signals to facilitate a plethora of cellular mechanisms. L-VDCC dysfunction is implicated in several neurological and psychiatric diseases. Despite their importance, signals upstream of L-VDCC activity that regulate their channel density, however, are poorly defined. In disease models with overactive mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling (or mTORopathies), including tuberous sclerosis (TS) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), we report a novel mechanism downstream of mTORC1 signaling that results in a deficit in dendritic L-VDCC activity. Deficits in L-VDCC activity are associated with increased expression of the mTORC1-regulated RNA-binding protein DJ-1. DJ-1 binds the mRNA coding the auxiliary Ca2+ channel subunit 2{delta}2 responsible for shuttling L-VDCC to the membrane and represses its expression. Moreover, this novel DJ-1/2{delta}2/L-VDCC pathway is disrupted in human AD and preclinical models of AD and TS. Our discovery that DJ-1 directs L-VDCC activity and L-VDCC-associated protein 2{delta}2 at the synapse suggests that DJ-1/2{delta}2/L-VDCC is a common, fundamental pathway disrupted in TS and AD that can be targeted in clinical mTORopathies.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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