N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) subunit composition strictly commands receptor function and pharmacological responses. Changes in NMDAR subunit composition have been documented in brain disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and levodopa (L-DOPA)-induced dyskinesias (LIDs), where an increase of NMDAR GluN2A/GluN2B subunit ratio at striatal synapses has been observed. A therapeutic approach aimed at rebalancing NMDAR synaptic composition represents a valuable strategy for PD and LIDs. To this, the comprehension of the molecular mechanisms regulating the synaptic localization of different NMDAR subtypes is required. We have recently demonstrated that Rabphilin 3A (Rph3A) is a new binding partner of NMDARs containing the GluN2A subunit and that it plays a crucial function in the synaptic stabilization of these receptors. Considering that protein-protein interactions govern the synaptic retention of NMDARs, the purpose of this work was to analyse the role of Rph3A and Rph3A/NMDAR complex in PD and LIDs, and to modulate Rph3A/GluN2A interaction to counteract the aberrant motor behaviour associated to chronic L-DOPA administration. Thus, an array of biochemical, immunohistochemical and pharmacological tools together with electron microscopy were applied in this study. Here we found that Rph3A is localized at the striatal postsynaptic density where it interacts with GluN2A. Notably, Rph3A expression at the synapse and its interaction with GluN2A-containing NMDARs were increased in parkinsonian rats displaying a dyskinetic profile. Acute treatment of dyskinetic animals with a cell-permeable peptide able to interfere with Rph3A/GluN2A binding significantly reduced their abnormal motor behaviour. Altogether, our findings indicate that Rph3A activity is linked to the aberrant synaptic localization of GluN2A-expressing NMDARs characterizing LIDs. Thus, we suggest that Rph3A/GluN2A complex could represent an innovative therapeutic target for those pathological conditions where NMDAR composition is significantly altered.
- Cell-permeable peptides
- Levodopa-induced dyskinesias
- N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor
- Pharmacological target
ASJC Scopus subject areas