Neuronal activity regulates spatial distribution of the SUMOylation system in cytosolic and dendritic sites, which has been implicated in learning, memory, and underlying synaptic structural and functional remodeling in the hippocampus. However, the functional target proteins for activated small ubiquitin-like modifiers (SUMOs) and downstream molecular consequences behind long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic plasticity remain to be elucidated. In this study, we showed that N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated neuronal activity induced the covalent modification of cytosolic Akt1 by small ubiquitin-like modifier 1 (SUMO1) in rat cortical and hippocampal CA1 neurons. Protein inhibitor of activated STAT3 (PIAS3) was involved in the activity-induced Akt1 SUMO1-ylation, and K64 and K276 residues were major SUMOylated sites. Importantly, Akt1 SUMOylation at K64 and K276 enhanced its enzymatic activity and facilitated T308 phosphorylation. Furthermore, the N-terminal SAP domain of PIAS3 bound Akt1 directly. The disruption of Akt1-PIAS3 interaction by Tat-SAP, a synthetic Tat-fused cell-permeable peptide containing PIAS3 SAP domain, inhibited neuronal activity-induced Akt1 SUMOylation and impaired LTP expression and late phase LTP maintenance in the hippocampus. Correlatedly, Tat-SAP not only blocked the LTP-related extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2-Elk-1-brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/Arc signaling, but also disrupted mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-eIF4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) pathway. These findings reveal an activity-induced Akt1 SUMOylation by PIAS3 that contributes to ERK1/2-BDNF/Arc and mTOR-4E-BP1 cascades, and in turn, long-lasting excitatory synaptic responses.
FASEB J (FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology)
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