Regulation of motor performance and striatal function by synaptic scaffolding proteins of the Homer1 family
Authors: Tappe A, Kuner R
CellNetworks People: Kuner Rohini
Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jan 17;103(3):774-9

Intracellular calcium mobilization and signaling mechanisms triggered by activation of synaptic glutamate receptors in the striatum are important modulators of neurotransmission in striatal circuits. However, the expression and functions of scaffolding proteins anchoring glutamate receptors at striatal synapses have not been addressed so far. The long-form Homer1 proteins, Homer1b/c, assemble group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR1/5) in large macromolecular complexes with sources of calcium influx and release at synapses as well as with components of the NMDA receptor complex at the neuronal cell membrane. Homer1a, the short, activity-dependent splice variant of Homer1b/c, lacks the ability of linking mGluR1/5 to synaptic proteins and functions as an endogenous negative modulator of the mGluR1/5 inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor signaling complex. We have generated transgenic mice, which overexpress Homer1a in striatal medium spiny neurons either homogenously throughout the extrastriosomal matrix (Homer1a-matrix line) or predominantly in striosomal patches (Homer1a-striosome line). Homer1a-expressing mice demonstrated normal development of striatal structure and afferent-efferent connectivity. However, motor performance in behavioral tasks and striatal responses to the psychomotor stimulant amphetamine were significantly altered in the Homer1a-striosome line. Thus, glutamate receptor scaffolding proteins of the Homer1 family critically regulate the functions of striatal medium spiny neurons in complex motor tasks and its modulation by psychomotor stimulant drugs.