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Dynamic bi-directional phosphorylation events associated with the reciprocal regulation of synapses during homeostatic up- and down-scaling.

By Kristina Desch, Julian D. Langer, Erin Schuman

Posted 28 Mar 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.03.26.437166

Homeostatic synaptic scaling allows for bi-directional adjustment of the strength of synaptic connections in response to changes in their input. Protein phosphorylation modulates many neuronal and synaptic processes, but it has not been studied on a global, proteome-wide scale during synaptic scaling. To examine this, we used LC-MS/MS analyses to measure changes in the phosphoproteome in response to up- or down-scaling in cultured cortical neurons over minutes to 24 hours. Out of 45,000 phosphorylation events measured, ~3,300 (associated with 1,280 phospho-proteins) were regulated by homeostatic scaling. The activity-sensitive phosphoproteins were predominantly located at synapses and involved in cytoskeletal reorganization. We identified many early transient phosphorylation events which could serve as sensors for the activity offset as well as late and/or persistent phosphoregulation that could represent effector mechanisms driving the homeostatic response. Much of the persistent phosphorylation was reciprocally regulated by up- or down-scaling, suggesting that the mechanisms underlying these two poles of synaptic regulation make use of a common signaling axis.

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