Showing 1 - 25 of 96 results
Optogenetic manipulation of neuronal and cardiomyocyte functions in zebrafish using microbial rhodopsins and adenylyl cyclases.
Even though microbial photosensitive proteins have been used for optogenetics, their use should be optimized to precisely control cell and tissue functions in vivo. We exploited GtCCR4 and KnChR, cation channelrhodopsins from algae, BeGC1, a guanylyl cyclase rhodopsin from a fungus, and photoactivated adenylyl cyclases (PACs) from cyanobacteria (OaPAC) or bacteria (bPAC), to control cell functions in zebrafish. Optical activation of GtCCR4 and KnChR in the hindbrain reticulospinal V2a neurons, which are involved in locomotion, induced swimming behavior at relatively short latencies, whereas activation of BeGC1 or PACs achieved it at long latencies. Activation of GtCCR4 and KnChR in cardiomyocytes induced cardiac arrest, whereas activation of bPAC gradually induced bradycardia. KnChR activation led to an increase in intracellular Ca2+ in the heart, suggesting that depolarization caused cardiac arrest. These data suggest that these optogenetic tools can be used to reveal the function and regulation of zebrafish neurons and cardiomyocytes.
Remotely Controllable Engineered Bacteria for Targeted Therapy of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infection.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) infection has become an intractable problem worldwide due to the decreasing efficacy of the mainstay therapy, antibiotic treatment. Hence, exploring new drugs and therapies to address this issue is crucial. Here, we construct a chimeric pyocin (ChPy) to specifically kill P. aeruginosa and engineer a near-infrared (NIR) light-responsive strain to produce and deliver this drug. Our engineered bacterial strain can continuously produce ChPy in the absence of light and release it to kill P. aeruginosa via remotely and precisely controlled bacterial lysis induced by NIR light. We demonstrate that our engineered bacterial strain is effective in P. aeruginosa-infected wound therapy in the mouse model, as it eradicated PAO1 in mouse wounds and shortened the wound healing time. Our work presents a potentially spatiotemporal and noninvasively controlled therapeutic strategy of engineered bacteria for the targeted treatment of P. aeruginosa infections.
All-optical mapping of cAMP transport reveals rules of sub-cellular localization.
Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) is a second messenger that mediates diverse intracellular signals. Studies of cAMP transport in cells have produced wildly different results, from reports of nearly free diffusion to reports that cAMP remains localized in nanometer-scale domains. We developed an all-optical toolkit, termed cAMP-SITES, to locally perturb and map cAMP transport. In MDCK cells and in cultured neurons, cAMP had a diffusion coefficient of ~120 μm2/s, similar to the diffusion coefficients of other small molecules in cytoplasm. In neuronal dendrites, a balance between diffusion and degradation led to cAMP domains with a length scale of ~30 μm. Geometrical confinement by membranes led to subcellular variations in cAMP concentration, but we found no evidence of nanoscale domains or of distinct membrane-local and cytoplasmic pools. We introduce theoretical relations between cell geometry and small-molecule reaction-diffusion dynamics and transport to explain our observations.
Engineering of NEMO as calcium indicators with large dynamics and high sensitivity.
Genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) are indispensable tools for real-time monitoring of intracellular calcium signals and cellular activities in living organisms. Current GECIs face the challenge of suboptimal peak signal-to-baseline ratio (SBR) with limited resolution for reporting subtle calcium transients. We report herein the development of a suite of calcium sensors, designated NEMO, with fast kinetics and wide dynamic ranges (>100-fold). NEMO indicators report Ca2+ transients with peak SBRs around 20-fold larger than the top-of-the-range GCaMP6 series. NEMO sensors further enable the quantification of absolution calcium concentration with ratiometric or photochromic imaging. Compared with GCaMP6s, NEMOs could detect single action potentials in neurons with a peak SBR two times higher and a median peak SBR four times larger in vivo, thereby outperforming most existing state-of-the-art GECIs. Given their high sensitivity and resolution to report intracellular Ca2+ signals, NEMO sensors may find broad applications in monitoring neuronal activities and other Ca2+-modulated physiological processes in both mammals and plants.
Light-stimulated insulin secretion from pancreatic islet-like organoids derived from human pluripotent stem cells.
Optogenetic techniques permit non-invasive, spatiotemporal, and reversible modulation of cellular activities. Here, we report a novel optogenetic regulatory system for insulin secretion in human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived pancreatic islet-like organoids using monSTIM1 (monster-opto-Stromal interaction molecule 1), an ultra-light-sensitive OptoSTIM1 variant. The monSTIM1 transgene was incorporated at the AAVS1 locus in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) by CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing. Not only were we able to elicit light-induced intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) transients from the resulting homozygous monSTIM1+/+-hESCs, but we also successfully differentiated them into pancreatic islet-like organoids (PIOs). Upon light stimulation, the β-cells in these monSTIM1+/+-PIOs displayed reversible and reproducible [Ca2+]i transient dynamics. Furthermore, in response to photoexcitation, they secreted human insulin. Light-responsive insulin secretion was similarly observed in monSTIM1+/+-PIOs produced from neonatal diabetes (ND) patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Under LED illumination, monSTIM1+/+-PIO-transplanted diabetic mice produced human c-peptide. Collectively, we developed a cellular model for the optogenetic control of insulin secretion using hPSCs, with the potential to be applied to the amelioration of hyperglycemic disorders.
Calcium transients trigger switch-like discharge of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in an ERK-dependent manner.
Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is a key player in a plethora of physiological and pathological events. Nevertheless, little is known about the dynamics of PGE2 secretion from a single cell and its effect on the neighboring cells. Here, by observing confluent Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) epithelial cells expressing fluorescent biosensors we demonstrate that calcium transients in a single cell cause PGE2-mediated radial spread of PKA activation (RSPA) in neighboring cells. By in vivo imaging, RSPA was also observed in the basal layer of the mouse epidermis. Experiments with an optogenetic tool revealed a switch-like PGE2 discharge in response to the increasing cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentrations. The cell density of MDCK cells correlated with the frequencies of calcium transients and the following RSPA. The ERK MAP kinase activation also enhanced the frequency of RSPA in MDCK and in vivo. Thus, the PGE2 discharge is regulated temporally by calcium transients and ERK activity.
Optical Control of Cell Signaling with Red/Far-Red Light-Responsive Optogenetic Tools in Caenorhabditis elegans.
Optogenetic techniques have been intensively applied to the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate its neural functions. However, as most of these optogenetics are responsive to blue light and the animal exhibits avoidance behavior to blue light, the application of optogenetic tools responsive to longer wavelength light has been eagerly anticipated. In this study, we report the implementation in C. elegans of a phytochrome-based optogenetic tool that responds to red/near-infrared light and manipulates cell signaling. We first introduced the SynPCB system, which enabled us to synthesize phycocyanobilin (PCB), a chromophore for phytochrome, and confirmed the biosynthesis of PCB in neurons, muscles, and intestinal cells. We further confirmed that the amount of PCBs synthesized by the SynPCB system was sufficient for photoswitching of phytochrome B (PhyB)-phytochrome interacting factor 3 (PIF3). In addition, optogenetic elevation of intracellular Ca2+ levels in intestinal cells induced a defecation motor program. These SynPCB system and phytochrome-based optogenetic techniques would be of great value in elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying C. elegans behaviors.
Programming the lifestyles of engineered bacteria for cancer therapy.
Bacteria can be genetically engineered to act as therapeutic delivery vehicles in the treatment of tumors, killing cancer cells or activating the immune system. This is known as bacteria-mediated cancer therapy (BMCT). Tumor invasion, colonization and tumor regression are major biological events, which are directly associated with antitumor effects and are uncontrollable due to the influence of tumor microenvironments during the BMCT process. Here, we developed a genetic circuit for dynamically programming bacterial lifestyles (planktonic, biofilm or lysis), to precisely manipulate the process of bacterial adhesion, colonization and drug release in the BMCT process, via hierarchical modulation of the lighting power density of near-infrared (NIR) light. The deep tissue penetration of NIR offers us a modality for spatio-temporal and non-invasive control of bacterial genetic circuits in vivo. By combining computational modeling with a high-throughput characterization device, we optimized the genetic circuits in engineered bacteria to program the process of bacterial lifestyle transitions by altering the illumination scheme of NIR. Our results showed that programming intratumoral bacterial lifestyle transitions allows precise control of multiple key steps throughout the BMCT process and therapeutic efficacy can be greatly improved by controlling the localization and dosage of therapeutic agents via optimizing the illumination scheme.
Integration of intermittent calcium signals in T cells revealed by temporally patterned optogenetics.
T cells become activated following one or multiple contacts with antigen-presenting cells. Calcium influx is a key signaling event elicited during these cellular interactions; however, it is unclear whether T cells recall and integrate calcium signals elicited during temporally separated contacts. To study the integration of calcium signals, we designed a programmable, multiplex illumination strategy for temporally patterned optogenetics (TEMPO). We found that a single round of calcium elevation was insufficient to promote nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) activity and cytokine production in a T cell line. However, robust responses were detected after a second identical stimulation even when signals were separated by several hours. Our results suggest the existence of a biochemical memory of calcium signals in T cells that favors signal integration during temporally separated contacts and promote cytokine production. As illustrated here, TEMPO is a versatile approach for dissecting temporal integration in defined signaling pathways.
Optogenetic Stimulation Array for Confocal Microscopy Fast Transient Monitoring.
Optogenetics is an emerging discipline with multiple applications in neuroscience, allowing to study neuronal pathways or serving for therapeutic applications such as in the treatment of anxiety disorder, autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), or Parkinson's disease. More recently optogenetics is opening its way also to stem cell-based therapeutic applications for neuronal regeneration after stroke or spinal cord injury. The results of optogenetic stimulation are usually evaluated by immunofluorescence or flow cytometry, and the observation of transient responses after stimulation, as in cardiac electrophysiology studies, by optical microscopy. However, certain phenomena, such as the ultra-fast calcium waves acquisition upon simultaneous optogenetics, are beyond the scope of current instrumentation, since they require higher image resolution in real-time, employing for instance time-lapse confocal microscopy. Therefore, in this work, an optogenetic stimulation matrix controllable from a graphical user interface has been developed for its use with a standard 24-well plate for an inverted confocal microscope use and validated by using a photoactivable adenyl cyclase (bPAC) overexpressed in rat fetal cortical neurons and the consequent calcium waves propagation upon 100 ms pulsed blue light stimulation.
Photoactivated adenylyl cyclases attenuate sepsis-induced cardiomyopathy by suppressing macrophage-mediated inflammation.
Sepsis-induced myocardiopathy, characterized by innate immune cells infiltration and proinflammatory cytokines release, may lead to perfusion failure or even life-threatening cardiogenic shock. Macrophages-mediated inflammation has been shown to contribute to sepsis-induced myocardiopathy. In the current study, we introduced two photoactivated adenylyl cyclases (PACs), Beggiatoa sp. PAC (bPAC) and Beggiatoa sp. IS2 PAC (biPAC) into macrophages by transfection to detect the effects of light-induced regulation of macrophage pro-inflammatory response and LPS-induced sepsis-induced myocardiopathy. By this method, we uncovered that blue light-induced bPAC or biPAC activation considerably inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 and TNF-α, both at mRNA and protein levels. Further, we assembled a GelMA-Macrophages-LED system, which consists of GelMA-a type of light crosslink hydrogel, gene modulated macrophages and wireless LED device, to allow light to regulate cardiac inflammation in situ with murine models of LPS-induced sepsis. Our results showed significant inhibition of leukocytes infiltration, especially macrophages and neutrophils, suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokines release, and alleviation of sepsis-induced cardiac dysfunction. Thus, our study may represent an emerging means to treat sepsis-induced myocardiopathy and other cardiovascular diseases by photo-activated regulating macrophage function.
An adaptive tracking illumination system for optogenetic control of single bacterial cells.
Single-cell behaviors are essential during early-stage biofilm formation. In this study, we aimed to evaluate whether single-cell behaviors could be precisely and continuously manipulated by optogenetics. We thus established adaptive tracking illumination (ATI), a novel illumination method to precisely manipulate the gene expression and bacterial behavior of Pseudomonas aeruginosa on the surface at the single-cell level by using the combination of a high-throughput bacterial tracking algorithm, optogenetic manipulation, and adaptive microscopy. ATI enables precise gene expression control by manipulating the optogenetic module gene expression and type IV pili (TFP)-mediated motility and microcolony formation during biofilm formation through bis-(3'-5')-cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) level modifications in single cells. Moreover, we showed that the spatial organization of single cells in mature biofilms could be controlled using ATI. Therefore, this novel method we established might markedly answer various questions or resolve problems in microbiology. KEY POINTS: • High-resolution spatial and continuous optogenetic control of individual bacteria. • Phenotype-specific optogenetic control of individual bacteria. • Capacity to control biologically relevant processes in engineered single cells.
Programming the lifestyles of engineered bacteria for cancer therapy.
Bacteria can be genetically engineered to act as therapeutic delivery vehicles in the treatment of tumors, killing cancer cells or activating the immune system. This is known as Bacteria-Mediated Cancer Therapy (BMCT). Tumor invasion, colonization and tumor regression are major biological events, which are directly associated with antitumor effects and are uncontrollable due to the influence of tumor microenvironments during the BMCT process. Here, we developed a genetic circuit for dynamically programming bacterial lifestyles (planktonic, biofilm or lysis), to precisely manipulate the process of bacterial adhesion, colonization and drug release in BMCT process, via hierarchical modulation of the lighting power density (LPD) of near-infrared (NIR) light. The deep tissue penetration of NIR offers us a modality for spatiotemporal and noninvasive control of bacterial genetic circuits in vivo. By combining computational modeling with high throughput characterization device, we optimized the genetic circuits in engineered bacteria to program the process of bacterial lifestyle transitions by altering the illumination scheme of NIR. Our results showed that programming intratumoral bacterial lifestyle transitions allows precise control of multiple key steps throughout the BMCT process, and therapeutic efficacy can be greatly improved by controlling the localization and dosage of therapeutic agents via optimizing the illumination scheme.
GPCR-dependent spatiotemporal cAMP generation confers functional specificity in cardiomyocytes and cardiac responses.
Cells interpret a variety of signals through G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and stimulate the generation of second messengers such as cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). A long-standing puzzle is deciphering how GPCRs elicit different responses, despite generating similar levels of cAMP. We previously showed that GPCRs generate cAMP from both the plasma membrane and the Golgi apparatus. Here, we demonstrate that cardiomyocytes distinguish between subcellular cAMP inputs to cue different outputs. We show that generating cAMP from the Golgi by an optogenetic approach or activated GPCR leads to regulation of a specific PKA target that increases rate of cardiomyocyte relaxation. In contrast, cAMP generation from the plasma membrane activates a different PKA target that increases contractile force. We validated the physiological consequences of these observations in intact zebrafish and mice. Thus, the same GPCR regulates distinct molecular and physiological pathways depending on its subcellular location despite generating cAMP in each case.
A Self-Powered Optogenetic System for Implantable Blood Glucose Control.
Diabetes treatment and rehabilitation are usually a lifetime process. Optogenetic engineered designer cell-therapy holds great promise in regulating blood glucose homeostasis. However, portable, sustainable, and long-term energy supplementation has previously presented a challenge for the use of optogenetic stimulation in vivo. Herein, we purpose a self-powered optogenetic system (SOS) for implantable blood glucose control. The SOS consists of a biocompatible far-red light (FRL) source, FRL-triggered transgene-expressing cells, a power management unit, and a flexible implantable piezoelectric nanogenerator (i-PENG) to supply long-term energy by converting biomechanical energy into electricity. Our results show that this system can harvest energy from body movement and power the FRL source, which then significantly enhanced production of a short variant of human glucagon-like peptide 1 (shGLP-1) in vitro and in vivo. Indeed, diabetic mice equipped with the SOS showed rapid restoration of blood glucose homeostasis, improved glucose, and insulin tolerance. Our results suggest that the SOS is sufficiently effective in self-powering the modulation of therapeutic outputs to control glucose homeostasis and, furthermore, present a new strategy for providing energy in optogenetic-based cell therapy.
A cAMP signalosome in primary cilia drives gene expression and kidney cyst formation.
The primary cilium constitutes an organelle that orchestrates signal transduction independently from the cell body. Dysregulation of this intricate molecular architecture leads to severe human diseases, commonly referred to as ciliopathies. However, the molecular underpinnings how ciliary signaling orchestrates a specific cellular output remain elusive. By combining spatially resolved optogenetics with RNA sequencing and imaging, we reveal a novel cAMP signalosome that is functionally distinct from the cytoplasm. We identify the genes and pathways targeted by the ciliary cAMP signalosome and shed light on the underlying mechanisms and downstream signaling. We reveal that chronic stimulation of the ciliary cAMP signalosome transforms kidney epithelia from tubules into cysts. Counteracting this chronic cAMP elevation in the cilium by small molecules targeting activation of phosphodiesterase-4 long isoforms inhibits cyst growth. Thereby, we identify a novel concept of how the primary cilium controls cellular functions and maintains tissue integrity in a specific and spatially distinct manner and reveal novel molecular components that might be involved in the development of one of the most common genetic diseases, polycystic kidney disease.
A general approach for engineering RTKs optically controlled with far-red light.
Regulation of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) activity is necessary for studying cell signaling pathways in health and disease. We developed a generalized approach for engineering RTKs optically controlled with far-red light. We targeted the bacterial phytochrome DrBphP to the cell surface and allowed its light-induced conformational changes to be transmitted across the plasma membrane via transmembrane helices to intracellular RTK domains. Systematic optimization of these constructs has resulted in optically regulated epidermal growth factor receptor, HER2, TrkA, TrkB, FGFR1, IR1, cKIT and cMet, named eDrRTKs. eDrRTKs induced downstream signaling in mammalian cells in tens of seconds. The ability to activate eDrRTKs with far-red light enabled spectral multiplexing with fluorescent probes operating in a shorter spectral range, allowing for all-optical assays. We validated eDrTrkB performance in mice and found that minimally invasive stimulation in the neocortex with penetrating via skull far-red light-induced neural activity, early immediate gene expression and affected sleep patterns.
Soluble cyclase-mediated nuclear cAMP synthesis is sufficient for cell proliferation.
cAMP is a key player in many physiological processes. Classically considered to originate solely from the plasma membrane, this view was recently challenged by observations showing that GPCRs can sustain cAMP signaling from intracellular compartments associated with nuclear PKA translocation and activation of transcriptional events. In this report we show that neither PKA translocation nor cAMP diffusion, but rather nuclear sAC activation represents the only source of nuclear cAMP accumulation, PKA activation, and CREB phosphorylation. Both pharmacological and genetic sAC inhibition, that did not affect the cytosolic cAMP levels, completed blunted nuclear cAMP accumulation, PKA activation and proliferation, while an increase in sAC nuclear expression significantly enhanced cell proliferation. Moreover, utilizing novel compartment-specific optogenetic actuators we showed that light-dependent nuclear cAMP synthesis can stimulate PKA, CREB and trigger cell proliferation. Thus, our results show that sAC-mediated nuclear accumulation is not only necessary but sufficient and rate-limiting for cAMP-dependent proliferation.
Morphogen Directed Coordination of GPCR Activity Promotes Primary Cilium Function for Downstream Signaling.
Primary cilium dysfunction triggers catastrophic failure of signal transduction pathways that organize through cilia, thus conferring significant pressure on such signals to ensure ciliary homeostasis. Intraflagellar transport (IFT) of cargo that maintains the primary cilium is powered by high ciliary cAMP. Paradoxically, Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) signaling, for which ciliary function is crucial, triggers a reduction in ciliary cAMP that could blunt downstream signaling by slowing IFT. We investigated this paradox and mapped a novel signal relay driven by SHH-stimulated prostaglandin E2 that stabilizes ciliary cAMP flux through by activating Gαs-coupled EP4 receptor. Chemical or genetic blockade of the SHH-EP4 relay cripples cAMP buffering, which leads to decreased intraciliary cAMP, short cilia, and attenuated SHH pathway induction. Accordingly, EP4-/- mice show pronounced ciliary defects and altered SHH-dependent neural tube patterning. Thus, SHH orchestrates a sophisticated ciliary GPCR-cAMP signaling network that ensures primary cilium fitness for a robust downstream signaling response.
An optogenetic tool to recruit individual PKC isozymes to the cell surface and promote specific phosphorylation of membrane proteins.
The Protein kinase C family consists of several closely related kinases. These enzymes regulate the function of proteins through the phosphorylation of hydroxyl groups on serines and/or threonines. The selective activation of individual PKC isozymes has proven challenging due to a lack of specific activator molecules. Here we developed an optogenetic, blue-light activated PKC isozyme that harnesses a plant-based dimerization system between the photosensitive cryptochrome-2 (CRY2) and the N-terminus of the transcription factor CIB1 (CIBN). We show that tagging CRY2 with the catalytic domain of PKC isozymes can efficiently promote its translocation to the cell surface upon blue light exposure. We demonstrate this system using PKCε and show that this leads to robust activation of a K+ channel (GIRK1/4) previously shown to be activated by PKCε. We anticipate that this approach can be utilized for other PKC isoforms to provide a reliable and direct stimulus for targeted membrane protein phosphorylation by the relevant PKCs.
Optogenetic Control of PIP2 Interactions Shaping ENaC Activity.
The activity of the epithelial Na+ Channel (ENaC) is strongly dependent on the membrane phospholipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2). PIP2 binds two distinct cationic clusters within the N termini of β- and γ-ENaC subunits (βN1 and γN2). The affinities of these sites were previously determined using short synthetic peptides, yet their role in sensitizing ENaC to changes in PIP2 levels in the cellular system is not well established. We addressed this question by comparing the effects of PIP2 depletion and recovery on ENaC channel activity and intracellular Na+ levels [Na+]i. We tested effects on ENaC activity with mutations to the PIP2 binding sites using the optogenetic system CIBN/CRY2-OCRL to selectively deplete PIP2. We monitored changes of [Na+]i by measuring the fluorescent Na+ indicator, CoroNa Green AM, and changes in channel activity by performing patch clamp electrophysiology. Whole cell patch clamp measurements showed a complete lack of response to PIP2 depletion and recovery in ENaC with mutations to βN1 or γN2 or both sites, compared to wild type ENaC. Whereas mutant βN1 also had no change in CoroNa Green fluorescence in response to PIP2 depletion, γN2 did have reduced [Na+]i, which was explained by having shorter CoroNa Green uptake and half-life. These results suggest that CoroNa Green measurements should be interpreted with caution. Importantly, the electrophysiology results show that the βN1 and γN2 sites on ENaC are each necessary to permit maximal ENaC activity in the presence of PIP2.
Stress ball morphogenesis: How the lizard builds its lung.
The function of the lung is closely coupled to its structural anatomy, which varies greatly across vertebrates. Although architecturally simple, a complex pattern of airflow is thought to be achieved in the lizard lung due to its cavernous central lumen and honeycomb-shaped wall. We find that the wall of the lizard lung is generated from an initially smooth epithelial sheet, which is pushed through holes in a hexagonal smooth muscle meshwork by forces from fluid pressure, similar to a stress ball. Combining transcriptomics with time-lapse imaging reveals that the hexagonal meshwork self-assembles in response to circumferential and axial stresses downstream of pressure. A computational model predicts the pressure-driven changes in epithelial topology, which we probe using optogenetically driven contraction of 3D-printed engineered muscle. These results reveal the physical principles used to sculpt the unusual architecture of the lizard lung, which could be exploited as a novel strategy to engineer tissues.
Hypothalamic dopamine neurons motivate mating through persistent cAMP signalling.
Transient neuromodulation can have long-lasting effects on neural circuits and motivational states1-4. Here we examine the dopaminergic mechanisms that underlie mating drive and its persistence in male mice. Brief investigation of females primes a male's interest to mate for tens of minutes, whereas a single successful mating triggers satiety that gradually recovers over days5. We found that both processes are controlled by specialized anteroventral and preoptic periventricular (AVPV/PVpo) dopamine neurons in the hypothalamus. During the investigation of females, dopamine is transiently released in the medial preoptic area (MPOA)-an area that is critical for mating behaviours. Optogenetic stimulation of AVPV/PVpo dopamine axons in the MPOA recapitulates the priming effect of exposure to a female. Using optical and molecular methods for tracking and manipulating intracellular signalling, we show that this priming effect emerges from the accumulation of mating-related dopamine signals in the MPOA through the accrual of cyclic adenosine monophosphate levels and protein kinase A activity. Dopamine transients in the MPOA are abolished after a successful mating, which is likely to ensure abstinence. Consistent with this idea, the inhibition of AVPV/PVpo dopamine neurons selectively demotivates mating, whereas stimulating these neurons restores the motivation to mate after sexual satiety. We therefore conclude that the accumulation or suppression of signals from specialized dopamine neurons regulates mating behaviours across minutes and days.
Endosomal cAMP production broadly impacts the cellular phosphoproteome.
Endosomal signaling downstream of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) has emerged as a novel paradigm with important pharmacological and physiological implications. However, our knowledge of the functional consequences of intracellular signaling is incomplete. To begin to address this gap, we combined an optogenetic approach for site-specific generation of the prototypical second messenger generated by active GPCRs, cyclic AMP (cAMP), with unbiased mass spectrometry-based analysis of the phosphoproteome. We identified 218 unique, high-confidence sites whose phosphorylation is either increased or decreased in response to cAMP elevation. We next determined that the same amount of cAMP produced from the endosomal membrane led to more robust changes in phosphorylation than the plasma membrane. Remarkably, this was true for the entire repertoire of 218 identified targets, and irrespective of their annotated sub-cellular localizations (endosome, cell surface, nucleus, cytosol). Furthermore, we identified a particularly strong endosome bias for a subset of proteins that are dephosphorylated in response to cAMP. Through bioinformatics analysis, we established these targets as putative substrates for protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), and we propose compartmentalized activation of PP2A by cAMP-responsive kinases as the likely underlying mechanism. Altogether, our study extends the concept that endosomal signaling is a significant functional contributor to cellular responsiveness to cAMP by establishing a unique role for localized cAMP production in defining categorically distinct phosphoresponses.
Endosomal cAMP production broadly impacts the cellular phosphoproteome.
Endosomal signaling downstream of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) has emerged as a novel paradigm with important pharmacological and physiological implications. Yet, our knowledge of the functional consequences of intracellular signaling is incomplete. To begin to address this gap, we combined an optogenetic approach for site-specific generation of the prototypical second messenger generated by active GPCRs, cyclic AMP (cAMP), with unbiased mass spectrometry-based analysis of phosphoproteomic effects. We identified 218 unique, high-confidence sites whose phosphorylation is either increased or decreased in response to cAMP production. We next determined that the same amount of cAMP produced from endosomes led to more robust changes in phosphorylation than the plasma membrane. Remarkably, this was true for the entire repertoire of identified targets, and irrespective of their annotated sub-cellular localization. Furthermore, we identified a particularly strong endosome bias for a subset of proteins that are dephosphorylated in response to cAMP. Through bioinformatics analysis, we established these targets as putative substrates for protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), and we propose compartmentalized activation of PP2A-B56δ as the likely underlying mechanism. Altogether, our study extends the concept that endosomal signaling is a significant functional contributor to cellular responsiveness by establishing a unique role for localized cAMP production in defining categorically distinct phosphoresponses.