Long-term climbing fibre activity induces transcription of microRNAs in cerebellar Purkinje cells

Neal H. Barmack, Zuyuan Qian, Vadim Yakhnitsa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Synaptic activation of central neurons is often evoked by electrical stimulation leading to post-tetanic potentiation, long-term potentiation or long-term depression. Even a brief electrical tetanus can induce changes in as many as 100 proteins. Since climbing fibre activity is often associated with cerebellar behavioural plasticity, we used horizontal optokinetic stimulation (HOKS) to naturally increase synaptic input to floccular Purkinje cells in mice for hours, not minutes, and investigated how this activity influenced the transcription of microRNAs, small non-coding nucleotides that reduce transcripts of multiple, complementary mRNAs. A single microRNA can reduce the translation of as many as 30 proteins. HOKS evoked increases in 12 microRNA transcripts in floccular Purkinje cells. One of these microRNAs, miR335, increased 18-fold after 24 h of HOKS. After HOKS stopped, miR335 transcripts decayed with a time constant of approximately 2.5 h. HOKS evoked a 28-fold increase in pri-miR335 transcripts compared with an 18-fold increase in mature miR335 transcripts, confirming that climbing fibre-evoked increases in miR335 could be attributed to increases in transcription. We used three screens to identify potential mRNA targets for miR335 transcripts: (i) nucleotide complementarity, (ii) detection of increased mRNAs following microinjection of miR335 inhibitors into the cerebellum, and (iii) detection of decreased mRNAs following HOKS. Two genes, calbindin and 14-3-3-θ, passed these screens. Transfection of N2a cells with miR335 inhibitors or precursors inversely regulated 14-3-3-θ transcripts. Immunoprecipitation of 14-3-3-θ co-immunoprecipitated PKC-γ and GABAAγ2. Knockdown of either 14-3-3-θ or PKC-γ decreased the serine phosphorylation of GABAAγ2, suggesting that 14-3-3-θ and PKC-γ under the control of miR335 homeostatically regulate the phosphorylation and insertion of GABAAγ2 into the Purkinje cell post-synaptic membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20130508
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1652
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • 14-3-3- and θ protein
  • Calbindin
  • Cerebellar plasticity
  • Horizontal optokinetic stimulation
  • PKC-γ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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