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J Neurochem. 2010 Nov;115(4):994-1006. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2010.06986.x. Epub 2010 Oct 5.

Regulation of protein kinase C Apl II by serotonin receptors in Aplysia.

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Department of Psychology, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5HT) is the neurotransmitter that mediates dishabituation in Aplysia. Serotonin mediates this behavioral change through the reversal of synaptic depression in sensory neurons (SNs). However, the 5HT receptors present in SNs and in particular, the receptor important for activation of protein kinase C (PKC) have not been fully identified. Using a recent genome assembly of Aplysia, we identified new receptors from the 5HT(2) , 5HT(4) , and 5HT(7) families. Using RT-PCR from isolated SNs, we found that three 5HT receptors, 5HT(1Apl(a)) , 5HT(2Apl) , and 5HT(7Apl) were expressed in SNs. These receptors were cloned and expressed in a heterologous system. In this system, 5HT(2Apl) could significantly translocate PKC Apl II in response to 5HT and this was blocked by pirenperone, a 5HT(2) receptor antagonist. Surprisingly, pirenperone did not block 5HT-mediated translocation of PKC Apl II in SNs, nor 5HT-mediated reversal of depression. Expression of 5HT(1Apl(a)) in SNs or genistein, an inhibitor of tyrosine kinases inhibited both PKC translocation and reversal of depression. These results suggest a non-canonical mechanism for the translocation of PKC Apl II in SNs.

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