PLoS biology

The sphingolipid receptor S1PR2 is a receptor for Nogo-a repressing synaptic plasticity.

PMID 24453941


Nogo-A is a membrane protein of the central nervous system (CNS) restricting neurite growth and synaptic plasticity via two extracellular domains: Nogo-66 and Nogo-A-Δ20. Receptors transducing Nogo-A-Δ20 signaling remained elusive so far. Here we identify the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 2 (S1PR2) as a Nogo-A-Δ20-specific receptor. Nogo-A-Δ20 binds S1PR2 on sites distinct from the pocket of the sphingolipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) and signals via the G protein G13, the Rho GEF LARG, and RhoA. Deleting or blocking S1PR2 counteracts Nogo-A-Δ20- and myelin-mediated inhibition of neurite outgrowth and cell spreading. Blockade of S1PR2 strongly enhances long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus of wild-type but not Nogo-A(-/-) mice, indicating a repressor function of the Nogo-A/S1PR2 axis in synaptic plasticity. A similar increase in LTP was also observed in the motor cortex after S1PR2 blockade. We propose a novel signaling model in which a GPCR functions as a receptor for two structurally unrelated ligands, a membrane protein and a sphingolipid. Elucidating Nogo-A/S1PR2 signaling platforms will provide new insights into regulation of synaptic plasticity.