Uncoupling DISC1 × D2R Protein-Protein Interactions Facilitates Latent Inhibition in Disc1-L100P Animal Model of Schizophrenia and Enhances Synaptic Plasticity via D2 Receptors

Tatiana V. Lipina, Nikolay A. Beregovoy, Alina A. Tkachenko, Ekaterina S. Petrova, Marina V. Starostina, Qiang Zhou, Shupeng Li

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    Both Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) and dopamine receptors D2R have significant contributions to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Our previous study demonstrated that DISC1 binds to D2R and such protein-protein interaction is enhanced in patients with schizophrenia and Disc1-L100P mouse model of schizophrenia (Su et al., 2014). By uncoupling DISC1 × D2R interaction (trans-activator of transcription (TAT)-D2pep), the synthesized TAT-peptide elicited antipsychotic-like effects in pharmacological and genetic animal models, without motor side effects as tardive dyskinesia commonly seen with typical antipsychotic drugs (APDs), indicating that the potential of TAT-D2pep of becoming a new APD. Therefore, in the current study, we further explored the APD-associated capacities of TAT-D2pep. We found that TAT-D2pep corrected the disrupted latent inhibition (LI), as a hallmark of schizophrenia associated endophenotype, in Disc1-L100P mutant mice—a genetic model of schizophrenia, supporting further APD’ capacity of TAT-D2pep. Moreover, we found that TAT-D2pep elicited nootropic effects in C57BL/6NCrl inbred mice, suggesting that TAT-D2pep acts as a cognitive enhancer, a desirable feature of APDs of the new generation. Namely, TAT-D2pep improved working memory in T-maze, and cognitive flexibility assessed by the LI paradigm, in C57BL/6N mice. Next, we assessed the impact of TAT-D2pep on hippocampal long-term plasticity (LTP) under basal conditions and upon stimulation of D2 receptors using quinpirole. We found comparable effects of TAT-D2pep and its control TAT-D2pep-scrambled peptide (TAT-D2pep-sc) under basal conditions. However, under stimulation of D2R by quinpirole, LTP was enhanced in hippocampal slices incubated with TAT-D2pep, supporting the notion that TAT-D2pep acts in a dopamine-dependent manner and acts as synaptic enhancer. Overall, our experiments demonstrated implication of DISC1 × D2R protein-protein interactions into mechanisms of cognitive and synaptic plasticity, which help to further understand molecular-cellular mechanisms of APD of the next generation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number31
    JournalFrontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
    Issue numberAPR
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2018


    • D2R
    • DISC1
    • Disc1-L100P mouse model of schizophrenia
    • latent inhibition
    • synaptic plasticity



    State classification of scientific and technological information

    • 34 BIOLOGY

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