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PLoS Biol. 2019 Mar 1;17(3):e3000170. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000170. eCollection 2019 Mar.

The temporal profile of activity-dependent presynaptic phospho-signalling reveals long-lasting patterns of poststimulus regulation.

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Synapse Proteomics, Children's Medical Research Institute, The University of Sydney, Westmead, Australia.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
Cell Signalling Unit, Children's Medical Research Institute, The University of Sydney, Westmead, Australia.
Bioinformatics Unit, Children's Medical Research Institute, The University of Sydney, Westmead, Australia.
Genome Biology Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany.
Institute of Neuropathology, University of Bonn Medical Center, Bonn, Germany.
Department of Neurosurgery, University of Bonn Medical Center, Bonn, Germany.


Depolarization of presynaptic terminals stimulates calcium influx, which evokes neurotransmitter release and activates phosphorylation-based signalling. Here, we present the first global temporal profile of presynaptic activity-dependent phospho-signalling, which includes two KCl stimulation levels and analysis of the poststimulus period. We profiled 1,917 regulated phosphopeptides and bioinformatically identified six temporal patterns of co-regulated proteins. The presynaptic proteins with large changes in phospho-status were again prominently regulated in the analysis of 7,070 activity-dependent phosphopeptides from KCl-stimulated cultured hippocampal neurons. Active zone scaffold proteins showed a high level of activity-dependent phospho-regulation that far exceeded the response from postsynaptic density scaffold proteins. Accordingly, bassoon was identified as the major target of neuronal phospho-signalling. We developed a probabilistic computational method, KinSwing, which matched protein kinase substrate motifs to regulated phosphorylation sites to reveal underlying protein kinase activity. This approach allowed us to link protein kinases to profiles of co-regulated presynaptic protein networks. Ca2+- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (CaMKIIα) responded rapidly, scaled with stimulus strength, and had long-lasting activity. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) was the main protein kinase predicted to control a distinct and significant pattern of poststimulus up-regulation of phosphorylation. This work provides a unique resource of activity-dependent phosphorylation sites of synaptosomes and neurons, the vast majority of which have not been investigated with regard to their functional impact. This resource will enable detailed characterization of the phospho-regulated mechanisms impacting the plasticity of neurotransmitter release.

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