The homeostatic regulation of neuronal activity in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses is critical for neural circuit development and synaptic plasticity. The induced expression of the transcription factor early growth response 1 (Egr-1) in neurons is tightly associated with many forms of neuronal activity, but the underlying target genes in the brain remained to be elucidated. This study uses a quantitative real-time PCR approach, in combination with in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation, and reveals that GABAA receptor subunit, GABRA2 (α2), GABRA4 (α4), and GABRQ (θ) genes, are transcriptional targets of Egr-1. Transfection of a construct that over-expresses Egr-1 in neuroblastoma (Neuro2A) cells up-regulates the α2, α4, and θ subunits. Given that Egr-1 knockout mice display less GABRA2, GABRA4, and GRBRQ mRNA in the hippocampus, and that Egr-1 directly binds to their promoters and induces mRNA expression, the present findings support a role for Egr-1 as a major regulator for altered GABAA receptor composition in homeostatic plasticity, in a glutamatergic activity-dependent manner.
- Chromatin immunoprecipitation
- GABA receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience