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Mpp4 is required for proper localization of plasma membrane calcium ATPases and maintenance of calcium homeostasis at the rod photoreceptor synaptic terminals.

Yang J, Pawlyk B, Wen XH, Adamian M, Soloviev M, Michaud N, Zhao Y, Sandberg MA, Makino CL, Li T
Human molecular genetics


Membrane palmitoylated protein 4 (Mpp4) is a member of the membrane-associated guanylate kinase family. We show that Mpp4 localizes specifically to the plasma membrane of photoreceptor synaptic terminals. Plasma membrane Ca(2+) ATPases (PMCAs), the Ca(2+) extrusion pumps, interact with an Mpp4-dependent presynaptic membrane protein complex that includes Veli3 and PSD95. In mice lacking Mpp4, PMCAs were lost from rod photoreceptor presynaptic membranes. Synaptic ribbons were enlarged, a phenomenon known to correlate with higher Ca(2+). SERCA2 (sarcoplasmic-endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase, type 2), which pumps cytosolic Ca(2+) into intracellular Ca(2+) stores and localizes next to the ribbons, was increased. The distribution of IP(3)RII (InsP(3) receptor, type 2), which releases Ca(2+) from the stores, was shifted away from the synaptic terminals. Synaptic transmission to second-order neurons was maintained but was reduced in amplitude. These data suggest that loss of Mpp4 disrupts a Ca(2+) extrusion mechanism at the presynaptic membranes, with ensuing adaptive responses by the photoreceptor to restore Ca(2+) homeostasis. We propose that Mpp4 organizes a presynaptic protein complex that includes PMCAs and has a role in modulating Ca(2+) homeostasis and synaptic transmission in rod photoreceptors.

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