Epilepsy-associated gene Nedd4-2 mediates neuronal activity and seizure susceptibility through AMPA receptors

Jiuhe Zhu, Kwan Young Lee, Kathryn A. Jewett, Heng Ye Man, Hee Jung Chung, Nien Pei Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The neural precursor cell expressed developmentally down-regulated gene 4–2, Nedd4-2, is an epilepsy-associated gene with at least three missense mutations identified in epileptic patients. Nedd4-2 encodes a ubiquitin E3 ligase that has high affinity toward binding and ubiquitinating membrane proteins. It is currently unknown how Nedd4-2 mediates neuronal circuit activity and how its dysfunction leads to seizures or epilepsies. In this study, we provide evidence to show that Nedd4-2 mediates neuronal activity and seizure susceptibility through ubiquitination of GluA1 subunit of the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor, (AMPAR). Using a mouse model, termed Nedd4-2andi, in which one of the major forms of Nedd4-2 in the brain is selectively deficient, we found that the spontaneous neuronal activity in Nedd4-2andicortical neuron cultures, measured by a multiunit extracellular electrophysiology system, was basally elevated, less responsive to AMPAR activation, and much more sensitive to AMPAR blockade when compared with wild-type cultures. When performing kainic acid-induced seizures in vivo, we showed that elevated seizure susceptibility in Nedd4-2andimice was normalized when GluA1 is genetically reduced. Furthermore, when studying epilepsy-associated missense mutations of Nedd4-2, we found that all three mutations disrupt the ubiquitination of GluA1 and fail to reduce surface GluA1 and spontaneous neuronal activity when compared with wild-type Nedd4-2. Collectively, our data suggest that impaired GluA1 ubiquitination contributes to Nedd4-2-dependent neuronal hyperactivity and seizures. Our findings provide critical information to the future development of therapeutic strategies for patients who carry mutations of Nedd4-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1006634
JournalPLoS genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Epilepsy-associated gene Nedd4-2 mediates neuronal activity and seizure susceptibility through AMPA receptors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this