High-resolution imaging and manipulation of endogenous AMPA receptor surface mobility during synaptic plasticity and learning

Sci Adv. 2022 Jul 29;8(30):eabm5298. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abm5298. Epub 2022 Jul 27.


Regulation of synaptic neurotransmitter receptor content is a fundamental mechanism for tuning synaptic efficacy during experience-dependent plasticity and behavioral adaptation. However, experimental approaches to track and modify receptor movements in integrated experimental systems are limited. Exploiting AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) as a model, we generated a knock-in mouse expressing the biotin acceptor peptide (AP) tag on the GluA2 extracellular N-terminal. Cell-specific introduction of biotin ligase allows the use of monovalent or tetravalent avidin variants to respectively monitor or manipulate the surface mobility of endogenous AMPAR containing biotinylated AP-GluA2 in neuronal subsets. AMPAR immobilization precluded the expression of long-term potentiation and formation of contextual fear memory, allowing target-specific control of the expression of synaptic plasticity and animal behavior. The AP tag knock-in model offers unprecedented access to resolve and control the spatiotemporal dynamics of endogenous receptors, and opens new avenues to study the molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and learning.