TitleOrai-mediated calcium entry determines activity of central dopaminergic neurons by regulation of gene expression.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsMitra R, Richhariya S, Hasan G
Date Published2024 Jan 30
KeywordsCalcium, Calcium, Dietary, Cholinergic Agents, Dopamine, Dopaminergic Neurons, Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase

Maturation and fine-tuning of neural circuits frequently require neuromodulatory signals that set the excitability threshold, neuronal connectivity, and synaptic strength. Here, we present a mechanistic study of how neuromodulator-stimulated intracellular Ca signals, through the store-operated Ca channel Orai, regulate intrinsic neuronal properties by control of developmental gene expression in flight-promoting central dopaminergic neurons (fpDANs). The fpDANs receive cholinergic inputs for release of dopamine at a central brain tripartite synapse that sustains flight (Sharma and Hasan, 2020). Cholinergic inputs act on the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor to stimulate intracellular Ca release through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) localised inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor followed by ER-store depletion and Orai-mediated store-operated Ca entry (SOCE). Analysis of gene expression in fpDANs followed by genetic, cellular, and molecular studies identified Orai-mediated Ca entry as a key regulator of excitability in fpDANs during circuit maturation. SOCE activates the transcription factor trithorax-like (Trl), which in turn drives expression of a set of genes, including , that encodes a histone 3 lysine 36 methyltransferase (H3K36me3). Set2 function establishes a positive feedback loop, essential for receiving neuromodulatory cholinergic inputs and sustaining SOCE. Chromatin-modifying activity of Set2 changes the epigenetic status of fpDANs and drives expression of key ion channel and signalling genes that determine fpDAN activity. Loss of activity reduces the axonal arborisation of fpDANs within the MB lobe and prevents dopamine release required for the maintenance of long flight.

Alternate JournalElife
PubMed ID38289659
Grant ListBT/PR28450/MED/122/2018 / / Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, India /