|Hippocampal Cortactin Levels are Reduced Following Spatial Working Memory Formation, an Effect Blocked by Chronic Calpain Inhibition.|
Olson, ML; Ingebretson, AE; Harmelink, KM
The mechanism by which the hippocampus facilitates declarative memory formation appears to involve, among other things, restructuring of the actin cytoskeleton within neuronal dendrites. One protein involved in this process is cortactin, which is an important link between extracellular signaling and cytoskeletal reorganization. In this paper, we demonstrate that total hippocampal cortactin, as well as Y421-phosphorylated cortactin are transiently reduced following spatial working memory formation in the radial arm maze (RAM). Because cortactin is a substrate of the cysteine protease calpain, we also assessed the effect of chronic calpain inhibition on RAM performance and cortactin expression. Calpain inhibition impaired spatial working memory and blocked the reduction in hippocampal cortactin levels following RAM training. These findings add to a growing body of research implicating cortactin and calpain in hippocampus-dependent memory formation.
|Phosphorylation of N-cadherin-associated cortactin by Fer kinase regulates N-cadherin mobility and intercellular adhesion strength.|
El Sayegh, TY; Arora, PD; Fan, L; Laschinger, CA; Greer, PA; McCulloch, CA; Kapus, A
Molecular biology of the cell
Cortactin regulates the strength of nascent N-cadherin-mediated intercellular adhesions through a tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent mechanism. Currently, the functional significance of cortactin phosphorylation and the kinases responsible for the regulation of adhesion strength are not defined. We show that the nonreceptor tyrosine kinase Fer phosphorylates cadherin-associated cortactin and that this process is involved in mediating intercellular adhesion strength. In wild-type fibroblasts N-cadherin ligation-induced transient phosphorylation of Fer, indicating that junction formation activates Fer kinase. Tyrosine phosphorylation of cortactin after N-cadherin ligation was strongly reduced in fibroblasts expressing only catalytically inactive Fer (D743R), compared with wild-type cells. In wild-type cells, N-cadherin-coated bead pull-off assays induced fourfold greater endogenous N-cadherin association than in D743R cells. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching showed that GFP-N-cadherin mobility at nascent contacts was 50% faster in wild-type than D743R cells. In shear wash-off assays, nascent intercellular adhesion strength was twofold higher in wild-type than D743R cells. Cortactin recruitment to adhesions was independent of Fer kinase activity, but was impacted by N-cadherin ligation-provoked Rac activation. We conclude that N-cadherin ligation induces Rac-dependent cortactin recruitment and Fer-dependent cortactin phosphorylation, which in turn promotes enhanced mobilization and interaction of surface expressed N-cadherin in contacting cells.Full Text Article
|Cortactin associates with N-cadherin adhesions and mediates intercellular adhesion strengthening in fibroblasts.|
El Sayegh, TY; Arora, PD; Laschinger, CA; Lee, W; Morrison, C; Overall, CM; Kapus, A; McCulloch, CA
Journal of cell science
The regulation of N-cadherin-mediated intercellular adhesion strength in fibroblasts is poorly characterized; this is due, in part, to a lack of available quantitative models. We used a recombinant N-cadherin chimeric protein and a Rat 2 fibroblast, donor-acceptor cell model, to study the importance of cortical actin filaments and cortactin in the strengthening of N-cadherin adhesions. In wash-off assays, cytochalasin D (1 microM) reduced intercellular adhesion by threefold, confirming the importance of cortical actin filaments in strengthening of N-cadherin-mediated adhesions. Cortactin, an actin filament binding protein, spatially colocalized to, and directly associated with, nascent N-cadherin adhesion complexes. Transfection of Rat-2 cells with cortactin-specific, RNAi oligonucleotides reduced cortactin protein by 85% and intercellular adhesion by twofold compared with controls (Pless than 0.005) using the donor-acceptor model. Cells with reduced cortactin exhibited threefold less N-cadherin-mediated intercellular adhesion strength compared with controls in wash-off assays using N-cadherin-coated beads. Immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting showed that N-cadherin-associated cortactin was phosphorylated on tyrosine residue 421 after intercellular adhesion. While tyrosine phosphorylation of cortactin was not required for recruitment to N-cadherin adhesions it was necessary for cadherin-mediated intercellular adhesion strength. Thus cortactin, and phosphorylation of its tyrosine residues, are important for N-cadherin-mediated intercellular adhesion strength.