Ahnak scaffolds p11/Anxa2 complex and L-type voltage-gated calcium channel and modulates depressive behavior

Mol Psychiatry. 2020 May;25(5):1035-1049. doi: 10.1038/s41380-019-0371-y. Epub 2019 Feb 13.


Genetic polymorphisms of the L-type voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) are associated with psychiatric disorders including major depressive disorder. Alterations of S100A10 (p11) level are also implicated in the etiology of major depressive disorder. However, the existence of an endogenous regulator in the brain regulating p11, L-type VGCC, and depressive behavior has not been known. Here we report that Ahnak, whose function in the brain has been obscure, stabilizes p11 and Anxa2 proteins in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in the rodent brain. Protein levels of Ahnak, p11, and Anxa2 are highly and positively correlated in the brain. Together these data suggest the existence of an Ahnak/p11/Anxa2 protein complex. Ahnak is expressed in p11-positive as well as p11-negative neurons. Ahnak, through its N-terminal region, scaffolds the L-type pore-forming α1 subunit and, through its C-terminal region, scaffolds the β subunit of VGCC and the p11/Anxa2 complex. Cell surface expression of the α1 subunits and L-type calcium current are significantly reduced in primary cultures of Ahnak knockout (KO) neurons compared to wild-type controls. A decrease in the L-type calcium influx is observed in both glutamatergic neurons and parvalbumin (PV) GABAergic interneurons of Ahnak KO mice. Constitutive Ahnak KO mice or forebrain glutamatergic neuron-selective Ahnak KO mice display a depression-like behavioral phenotype similar to that of constitutive p11 KO mice. In contrast, PV interneuron-selective Ahnak KO mice display an antidepressant-like behavioral phenotype. Our results demonstrate L-type VGCC as an effector of the Ahnak/p11/Anxa2 complex, revealing a novel molecular connection involved in the control of depressive behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Annexin A2 / metabolism*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Calcium Channels, L-Type / metabolism*
  • Depression / metabolism
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / metabolism*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / metabolism
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology
  • S100 Proteins / metabolism*


  • Ahnak protein, mouse
  • Annexin A2
  • Calcium Channels, L-Type
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • S100 Proteins
  • S100 calcium binding protein A10