Group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-stimulated protein synthesis and long-term synaptic depression (mGluR-LTD) are altered in the mouse model of fragileXsyndrome, Fmr1 knock-out (KO) mice. Fmr1 encodes fragileXmental retardation protein (FMRP), a dendritic RNA binding protein that functions, in part, as a translational suppressor. It is unknown whether and how FMRP acutely regulates LTD and/or the rapid synthesis of new proteins required for LTD, such as the activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc). The protein phosphatase PP2A dephosphorylates FMRP, which contributes to translational activation of some target mRNAs. Here, we report that PP2A and dephosphorylation of FMRP at S500 are required for an mGluR-induced, rapid (5 min) increase in dendritic Arc protein and LTD in rat and mouse hippocampal neurons. In Fmr1 KO neurons, basal, dendritic Arc protein levels and mGluR-LTD are enhanced, but mGluR-triggered Arc synthesis is absent. Lentiviral-mediated expression of wild-type FMRP in Fmr1 KO neurons suppresses basal dendritic Arc levels and mGluR-LTD, and restores rapid mGluR-triggered Arc synthesis. A phosphomimic of FMRP (S500D) suppresses steady-state dendritic Arc levels but does not rescue mGluR-induced Arc synthesis. A dephosphomimic of FMRP (S500A) neither suppresses dendritic Arc nor supports mGluR-induced Arc synthesis. Accordingly, S500D-FMRP expression in Fmr1 KO neurons suppresses mGluR-LTD, whereas S500A-FMRP has no effect. These data support a model in which phosphorylated FMRP functions to suppress steady-state translation of Arc and LTD. Upon mGluR activation of PP2A, FMRP is rapidly dephosphorylated, which contributes to rapid new synthesis of Arc and mGluR-LTD.
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