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The Journal of physiology

Protein kinase C bidirectionally modulates Ih and hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channel surface expression in hippocampal pyramidal neurons.


PMID 25820761

Abstract

Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels, particularly that of the HCN1 isoform, are enriched in the distal dendrites of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons; these channels have physiological functions with respect to decreasing neuronal excitability. In the present study, we aimed to investigate phosphorylation as a mechanism controlling Ih amplitude and HCN1 surface expression in hippocampal principal neurons under normal physiological conditions. Tyrosine phosphorylation decreased Ih amplitude at maximal activation (maximal Ih ), without altering HCN1 surface expression, in two classes of hippocampal principal neurons. Inhibition of serine/threonine protein phosphatases 1 and 2A decreased maximal Ih and HCN1 surface expression in hippocampal principal neurons. Protein kinase C (PKC) activation irreversibly diminished Ih and HCN1 surface expression, whereas PKC inhibition augmented Ih and HCN1 surface expression. PKC activation increased HCN1 channel phosphorylation. These results demonstrate the novel finding of a phosphorylation mechanism, dependent on PKC activity, which bidirectionally modulates Ih amplitude and HCN1channel surface expression in hippocampal principal neurons under normal physiological conditions. Hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) ion channels attenuate excitability in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Loss of HCN channel-mediated current (Ih ), particularly that mediated by the HCN1 isoform, occurs with the development of epilepsy. Previously, we showed that, following pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus, there are two independent changes in HCN function in dendrites: decreased Ih amplitude associated with a loss of HCN1 surface expression and a hyperpolarizing shift in voltage-dependence of activation (gating). The hyperpolarizing shift in gating was attributed to decreased phosphorylation as a result of a loss of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activity and increased calcineurin activity; however, the mechanisms controlling Ih amplitude and HCN1 surface expression under epileptic or normal physiological conditions are poorly understood. We aimed to investigate phosphorylation as a mechanism regulating Ih amplitude and HCN1 surface expression (i.e. as is the case for HCN gating) in hippocampal principal neurons under normal physiological conditions. We discovered that inhibition of either tyrosine phosphatases or the serine/threonine protein phosphatases 1 and 2A decreased Ih at maximal activation in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal dendrites and pyramidal-like principal neuron somata from naïve rats. Furthermore, we found that inhibition of PP1/PP2A decreased HCN1 surface expression, whereas tyrosine phosphatase inhibition did not. Protein kinase C (PKC) activation reduced Ih amplitude and HCN1 surface expression, whereas PKC inhibition produced the opposite effect. Inhibition of protein phosphatases 1 and 2A and activation of PKC increased the serine phosphorylation state of the HCN1 protein. The effect of PKC activation on Ih was irreversible. These results indicate that PKC bidirectionally modulates Ih amplitude and HCN1 surface expression in hippocampal principal neurons.

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