Neurotrypsin (NT) is a highly specific nervous system multi-domain serine protease best known for its selective processing of the potent synaptic organizer agrin. Its enzymatic activity is thought to influence processes of synaptic plasticity, with its deregulation causing accelerated neuromuscular junction (NMJ) degeneration or contributing to forms of mental retardation. These biological effects are likely to stem from NT-based regulation of agrin signaling. However, dissecting the exact biological implications of NT-agrin interplay is difficult, due to the scarce molecular detail regarding NT activity and NT-agrin interactions. We developed a strategy to reliably produce and purify a catalytically competent engineered variant of NT called "NT-mini" and a library of C-terminal agrin fragments, with which we performed a thorough biochemical and biophysical characterization of NT enzyme functionality. We studied the regulatory effects of calcium ions and heparin, identified NT's heparin-binding domain, and discovered how zinc ions induce modulation of enzymatic activity. Additionally, we investigated myotube differentiation and hippocampal neuron excitability, evidencing a dose-dependent increase in neuronal activity alongside a negative impact on myoblast fusion when using the active NT enzyme. Collectively, our results provide in vitro and cellular foundations to unravel the molecular underpinnings and biological significance of NT-agrin interactions.

Deconstruction of Neurotrypsin Reveals a Multi-factorially Regulated Activity Affecting Myotube Formation and Neuronal Excitability

Stanga, Serena;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Neurotrypsin (NT) is a highly specific nervous system multi-domain serine protease best known for its selective processing of the potent synaptic organizer agrin. Its enzymatic activity is thought to influence processes of synaptic plasticity, with its deregulation causing accelerated neuromuscular junction (NMJ) degeneration or contributing to forms of mental retardation. These biological effects are likely to stem from NT-based regulation of agrin signaling. However, dissecting the exact biological implications of NT-agrin interplay is difficult, due to the scarce molecular detail regarding NT activity and NT-agrin interactions. We developed a strategy to reliably produce and purify a catalytically competent engineered variant of NT called "NT-mini" and a library of C-terminal agrin fragments, with which we performed a thorough biochemical and biophysical characterization of NT enzyme functionality. We studied the regulatory effects of calcium ions and heparin, identified NT's heparin-binding domain, and discovered how zinc ions induce modulation of enzymatic activity. Additionally, we investigated myotube differentiation and hippocampal neuron excitability, evidencing a dose-dependent increase in neuronal activity alongside a negative impact on myoblast fusion when using the active NT enzyme. Collectively, our results provide in vitro and cellular foundations to unravel the molecular underpinnings and biological significance of NT-agrin interactions.
2022
59
12
7466
7485
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12035-022-03056-2
Agrin signaling; Neuromuscular junction; Neurotrypsin; Proteolytic regulation; Serine protease; Synapses
Canciani, Anselmo; Capitanio, Cristina; Stanga, Serena; Faravelli, Silvia; Scietti, Luigi; Mapelli, Lisa; Soda, Teresa; D'Angelo, Egidio; Kienlen-Campard, Pascal; Forneris, Federico
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1875881
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