Proteolytic Degradation of Hippocampal STEP61 in LTP and Learning.


Departament de Biomedicina, Facultat de Medicina i Ciències de la Salut, Institut de Neurociències, Universitat de Barcelona, C/ Casanova, 143 08036, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. [Email]


Striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase (STEP) modulates key signaling molecules involved in synaptic plasticity and neuronal function. It is postulated that STEP opposes the development of long-term potentiation (LTP) and that it exerts a restraint on long-term memory (LTM). Here, we examined whether STEP61 levels are regulated during hippocampal LTP and after training in hippocampal-dependent tasks. We found that after inducing LTP by high frequency stimulation or theta-burst stimulation STEP61 levels were significantly reduced, with a concomitant increase of STEP33 levels, a product of calpain cleavage. Importantly, inhibition of STEP with TC-2153 improved LTP in hippocampal slices. Moreover, we observed that after training in the passive avoidance and the T-maze spontaneous alternation task, hippocampal STEP61 levels were significantly reduced, but STEP33 levels were unchanged. Yet, hippocampal BDNF content and TrkB levels were increased in trained mice, and it is known that BDNF promotes STEP degradation through the proteasome. Accordingly, hippocampal pTrkBTyr816, pPLCγTyr783, and protein ubiquitination levels were increased in T-SAT trained mice. Remarkably, injection of the TrkB antagonist ANA-12 (2 mg/Kg, but not 0.5 mg/Kg) elicited LTM deficits and promoted STEP61 accumulation in the hippocampus. Also, STEP knockout mice outperformed wild-type animals in an age- and test-dependent manner. Summarizing, STEP61 undergoes proteolytic degradation in conditions leading to synaptic strengthening and memory formation, thus highlighting its role as a molecular constrain, which is removed to enable the activation of pathways important for plasticity processes.


ANA-12,BDNF,Calpains,Proteasome,Striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase,

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