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Neurosci Lett. 2008 Feb 20;432(2):121-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2007.12.021. Epub 2008 Jan 8.

D-Serine/N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor signaling decreases DNA-binding activity of the transcriptional repressor DREAM in Müller glia from the retina.

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Departamento de Farmacobiología, Cinvestav Sede Sur, México DF, Mexico.


In the adult retina, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) neurotoxicity induces Müller cell reactive gliosis which is characterized by changes in gene expression that lead to proliferation and affect retinal physiology. The amino acid D-serine is synthesized in Müller cells and modulates these processes acting as a coagonist of NMDA receptors. We have found that the transcription factor DREAM (downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator), which acts as a transcriptional repressor by binding as a tetramer to regulatory elements located in the promoter region of target genes, is expressed in these cells and that its DNA-binding activity is modulated by NMDA receptor activation. Consistently, immunocytochemical analysis demonstrates that NMDA receptor activation induces changes in the nuclear localization of this transcription factor. DREAM is a pleiotropic transcription factor capable to repress and activate genes involved in several physiological events in different tissues. These results link, for the first time, this transcription factor with NMDA-receptor activation. Given the relevance of glutamatergic transmission in the retina and the remarkable functional plasticity of Müller cells, these findings support the notion that the NMDA receptor-dependent modulation of DREAM activity could play a role in relevant physiological processes ranging from retinal response to injury to differentiation capacity of retinal progenitor cells.

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