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Noonan syndrome-associated SHP2 mutation differentially modulates the expression of postsynaptic receptors according to developmental maturation


Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, and related signaling involves both AMPA and NMDA subtype receptors. The expression of glutamate receptors is dynamically regulated during development. Recent studies showed that the dysregulation of glutamate receptor expression and function is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders including intellectual disability. Previously, a Noonan syndrome (NS)-associated SHP2 mutation (SHP2D61G) was shown to increase the synaptic delivery of AMPA receptor, subsequently impairing synaptic plasticity and learning in adult mice. However, how the mutant SHP2 affects glutamate receptor expression during development is not known. Here, we found that the SHP2D61G differentially regulates the expression of AMPA and NMDA receptors depending on the stage of neuronal maturation. In cultured neurons (immature stage; DIV 6), overexpression of SHP2D61G significantly increased the average size and the number of NMDA receptor-containing particles, but not those with AMPA receptors. In early matured neurons (DIV 12), SHP2D61G significantly increased only the average size of AMPA receptor particles, and subsequently increased their number in matured neurons (DIV 18). Importantly, all the changes described above for SHP2D61G neurons were reversed by inhibiting MAPK. These data demonstrate that the increased activation of MAPK signaling pathway by SHP2D61G could deregulate the surface expression of synaptic receptors during neuronal development, which likely contributes to cognitive impairments in NS patients.

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