Long-term depression (LTD) in the hippocampus can be induced by activation of different types of G-protein coupled receptors, in particular metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) and muscarinic acethycholine receptors (mAChRs). Since mGluRs and mAChRs activate the same G-proteins and isoforms of phospholipase C (PLC), it would be expected that these two forms of LTD utilise the same molecular mechanisms. However, we find a distinct mechanism of LTD involving GRIP and liprin-α.
Whilst both forms of LTD require activation of tyrosine phosphatases and involve internalisation of AMPARs, they use different molecular interactions. Specifically, mAChR-LTD, but not mGluR-LTD, is blocked by peptides that inhibit the binding of GRIP to the AMPA receptor subunit GluA2 and the binding of GRIP to liprin-α. Thus, different receptors that utilise the same G-proteins can regulate AMPAR trafficking and synaptic efficacy via distinct molecular mechanisms.
Our results suggest that mAChR-LTD selectively involves interactions between GRIP and liprin-α. These data indicate a novel mechanism of synaptic plasticity in which activation of M1 receptors results in AMPAR endocytosis, via a mechanism involving interactions between GluA2, GRIP and liprin-α.