Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Anthony D. Morielli


The voltage gated potassium channel Kv1.2 plays a key role in the central nervous system and mutations in Kv1.2 cause neurological disorders such as epilepsies and ataxias. In the cerebellum, regulation of Kv1.2 is coupled to learning and memory. We have previously shown that blocking Kv1.2 by infusing its specific inhibitor tityustoxin-kα (TsTX) into the lobulus simplex of the cerebellum facilitates eyeblink conditioning (EBC) and that EBC itself modulates Kv1.2 surface expression in cerebellar interneurons. The metabotropic glutamate receptor mGluR1 is required for EBC although the molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. Here we show that infusion of the mGluR1 agonist (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) into the lobulus simplex of the cerebellum mimics the facilitating effect of TsTX on EBC. We therefore hypothesize that mGluR1 could act, in part, through suppression of Kv1.2. Earlier studies have shown that Kv1.2 suppression involves channel tyrosine phosphorylation and endocytocytic removal from the cell surface. In this study we report that an excitatory chemical stimulus (50mM K+-100µM glutamate) applied to cerebellar slices enhanced Kv1.2 tyrosine phosphorylation and that this increase was lessened in the presence of the mGluR1 inhibitor YM298198. More direct evidence for mGluR1 modulation of Kv1.2 comes from our finding that selective activation of mGluR1 with DHPG reduced the amount of surface Kv1.2 detected by cell surface biotinylation in cerebellar slices. To determine the molecular pathways involved we used an unbiased mass spectrometry-based proteomics approach to identify Kv1.2-protein interactions that are modulated by mGluR1. Among the interactions enhanced by DHPG were those with PKC-γ, CaMKII, and Gq/G11, each of which had been shown in other studies to co-immunoprecipitate with mGluR1 and contribute to its signaling. Of particular note was the interaction between Kv1.2 and PKC-γ since in HEK cells and hippocampal neurons Kv1.2 endocytosis is elicited by PKC activation. We found that activation of PKCs with PMA reduced surface Kv1.2, while the PKC inhibitor Go6983 attenuated the reduction in surface Kv1.2 levels elicited by DHPG and PMA, suggesting that the mechanism by which mGluR1 modulates cerebellar Kv1.2 likely involves PKC.

mGluR1 has been shown to signal independently of the agonist through a constitutively active, protein kinase A-dependent pathway in the cerebellum. Using HEK293 cells we show that co-expression of mGluR1 increases the surface expression levels of Kv1.2. This effect occurs in absence of mGluR1 agonists and in the presence of a noncompetitive mGluR1 inhibitor YM298198. Co-expression of known downstream effectors of the agonist driven mGluR1 pathway such as PKC-γ, CaMKIIα, Grid2 had no effect on Kv1.2 surface expression or on the ability of mGluR1 agonist to modulate that expression. In contrast, the inverse agonist BAY 36-7620 significantly reduced the mGluR1 effect on Kv1.2 surface expression, as did pharmacological inhibition of PKA with KT5720.

Therefore, mGluR1 is involved in regulation of surface Kv1.2 via dual mechanisms, the agonist dependent mechanism reduces surface Kv1.2 via PKC, while agonist independent constitutive mechanism increases surface Kv1.2 via PKA.



Number of Pages

156 p.