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'Jin, H, Chiou, TT, Serwanski, DR, Miralles, CP, Pinal, N and De Blas, AL (2014) RNF34 interacts with and promotes gamma-aminobutyric acid type-A receptor degradation via ubiquitination of the γ2 subunit. J. Biol. Chem. '


We have found that the large intracellular loop of the γ2 GABAAR subunit (γ2IL) interacts with RNF34 (an E3 ubiquitin ligase), as shown by yeast-two-hybrid and in vitro pull-down assays. In brain extracts, RNF34 co-immunoprecipitates with assembled GABAARs. In co-transfected HEK293 cells, RNF34 reduces the expression of the γ2 GABAAR subunit by increasing the ratio of ubiquitinated/non-ubiquitinated γ2. Mutating several lysines of the γ2IL into arginines makes the γ2 subunit resistant to RNF34-induced degradation. RNF34 also reduces the expression of the γ2 subunit when α1 and β3 subunits are co-assembled with γ2. This effect is partially reversed by Leupeptin or MG132, indicating that both the lysosomal and proteasomal degradation pathways are involved. Immunofluorescence of cultured hippocampal neurons shows that RNF34 forms clusters and that a subset of these clusters is associated with GABAergic synapses. This association is also observed in the intact rat brain by electron microscopy immunocytochemistry. RNF34 is not expressed until the second postnatal week of rat brain development, being highly expressed in some interneurons. Overexpression of RNF34 in hippocampal neurons decreases the density of γ2 GABAAR clusters and the number of GABAergic contacts that these neurons receive. Knocking down endogenous RNF34 with shRNA leads to increased γ2 GABAAR cluster density and GABAergic innervation. The results indicate that RNF34 regulates postsynaptic γ2-GABAAR clustering and GABAergic synaptic innervation by interacting with and ubiquitinating the γ2-GABAAR subunit promoting GABAAR degradation.


PubMed Online version:10.1074/jbc.M114.603068