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Expression and development of TARP γ-4 in embryonic zebrafish

Ahmed KT, Amin MR, Razmara P, Roy B, Cai R, Tang J, Chen XZ, Ali DW
Dev Neurosci. 2022 Jun 21. doi: 10.1159/000525578. Online ahead of print
Fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the CNS is mediated by the neurotransmitter glutamate, binding to and activating AMPA receptors (AMPARs). AMPARs are known to interact with auxiliary proteins that modulate their behavior. One such family of proteins is the transmembrane AMPA receptor-related proteins, known as TARPs. Little is known about the role of TARPs during development, or about their function in non-mammalian organisms. Here we report on the presence of TARP γ-4 in developing zebrafish. We find that zebrafish express 2 forms of TARP γ-4: γ-4a and γ-4b as early as 12 hours post fertilization (hpf). Sequence analysis shows that both γ-4a and γ-4b shows great level of variation particularly in the intracellular C-terminal domain compared to rat, mouse and human γ-4. RT-qPCR showed a gradual increase in the expression of γ-4a and γ-4b throughout the first 5 days of development. Knockdown of TARP γ-4a and γ-4b via either splice-blocking morpholinos or translation-blocking morpholinos resulted in embryos that exhibited deficits in C-start escape responses, showing reduced C-bend angles. Morphant larvae displayed reduced bouts of swimming. Whole cell patch clamp recordings of AMPA receptor-mediated currents from Mauthner cells showed a reduction in the frequency of mEPCs but no change in amplitude or kinetics. Together, these results suggest that γ-4a and γ-4b are required for proper neuronal development.
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