Two biological forms of the mosquito Culex pipiens s.s., denoted pipiens and molestus, display behavioural differences that may affect their role as vectors of arboviruses. In this study, the feeding patterns of molestus and pipiens forms were investigated in Comporta (Portugal), where high levels of inter-form admixture have been recorded.
N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptors are a subclass of ligand-gated, heteromeric glutamatergic neurotransmitter receptors whose cell surface expression is regulated by quality control mechanisms. Functional quality control checkpoints are known to contribute to cell surface trafficking of non-N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors. Here we investigated if similar mechanisms operate for the surface delivery of NMDA receptors. Point mutations in the glycine binding domain of the NR1-1a subunit were generated: D732A, a mutation that results in an approximately 3 x 10(4) decrease in glycine binding affinity; D732E, a conservative change; and D723A, a residue in the same NR1-1a domain that has no effect on glycine binding affinity. Each NR1-1a subunit was co-expressed with NR2A in mammalian cells. Immunoblotting and immunoprecipitations showed that all mutants were expressed to similar levels as wild-type NR1-1a and associated with NR2A. Cell surface expression measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay found that whereas NR1-1a (D732E)/NR2A and NR1-1a (D723A)/NR2A trafficked as efficiently as NR1-1a/NR2A, there was a 90% decrease in surface expression for NR1-1a (D732A)/NR2A. This was confirmed by confocal microscopy imaging and cell surface biotinylation. Further imaging showed that NR1-1a (D732A) and co-transfected NR2A co-localized with an endoplasmic reticulum marker. Dichlorokynurenic acid, a competitive glycine site antagonist, partially rescued surface expression. Mutation of the NR1-1a ER retention motif showed that the ligand binding checkpoint is an early event preceding endoplasmic reticulum sorting mechanisms. These findings demonstrate that integrity of the glycine co-agonist binding site is a functional checkpoint requisite for efficient cell surface trafficking of assembled NMDA receptors.
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