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J Neurosci. 2007 Oct 24;27(43):11624-34.

Multiple Gq-coupled receptors converge on a common protein synthesis-dependent long-term depression that is affected in fragile X syndrome mental retardation.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390, USA.


Gq-coupled, M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) facilitate hippocampal learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity. M1 mAChRs induce long-term synaptic depression (LTD), but little is known about the underlying mechanisms of mAChR-dependent LTD and its link to cognitive function. Here, we demonstrate that chemical activation of M1 mAChRs induces LTD in hippocampal area CA1, which relies on rapid protein synthesis, as well as the extracellular signal-regulated kinase and mammalian target of rapamycin translational activation pathways. Synaptic stimulation of M1 mAChRs, alone, or together with the Gq-coupled glutamate receptors (mGluRs), also results in protein synthesis-dependent LTD. New proteins maintain mAChR-dependent LTD through a persistent decrease in surface AMPA receptors. mAChRs stimulate translation of the RNA-binding protein, Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) and FMRP target mRNAs. In mice without FMRP (Fmr1 knock-out), a model for human Fragile X syndrome mental retardation (FXS), both mGluR- and mAChR-dependent protein synthesis and LTD are affected. Our results reveal that multiple Gq-coupled receptors converge on a common protein synthesis-dependent LTD mechanism, which is aberrant in FXS. These findings suggest novel therapeutic strategies for FXS in the form of mAChR antagonists.

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