N-terminal alternative splicing of GluN1 regulates the maturation of excitatory synapses and seizure susceptibility.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 Oct 15; 116(42):21207-21212
The majority of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) in the brain are composed of 2 GluN1 and 2 GluN2 subunits. The inclusion or exclusion of 1 N-terminal and 2 C-terminal domains of GluN1 results in 8 splicing variants that exhibit distinct temporal and spatial patterns of expression and functional properties. However, previous functional analyses of Grin1 variants have been done using heterologous expression and the in vivo function of Grin1 splicing is unknown. Here we show that N-terminal splicing of GluN1 has important functions in the maturation of excitatory synapses. The inclusion of exon 5 of Grin1 is up-regulated in several brain regions such as the thalamus and neocortex. We find that deletion of Grin1 exon 5 disrupts the developmental remodeling of NMDARs in thalamic neurons and the effect is distinct from that of Grin2a (GluN2A) deletion. Deletion of Grin2a or exon 5 of Grin1 alone partially attenuates the shortening of NMDAR-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (NMDAR-EPSCs) during early life, whereas deletion of both Grin2a and exon 5 of Grin1 completely abolishes the developmental change in NMDAR-EPSC decay time. Deletion of exon 5 of Grin1 leads to an overproduction of excitatory synapses in layer 5 pyramidal neurons in the cortex and increases seizure susceptibility in adult mice. Our findings demonstrate that N-terminal splicing of GluN1 has important functions in synaptic maturation and neuronal network excitability.
Liu, Hong; Wang, Haoyi; Peterson, Matthew; Zhang, Wen; Hou, Guoqiang; and Zhang, Zhong-Wei, "N-terminal alternative splicing of GluN1 regulates the maturation of excitatory synapses and seizure susceptibility." (2019). Faculty Research 2019. 250.