Dezhi Liao, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience
Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity
Activity-dependent modulation of glutamatergic synapses has been suggested to play important roles in learning and memory in adult brains, and the formation of synaptic connections in developmental brains. This modulation is at least partially mediated through the activation of “silent synapses,” synapses that contain NMDA receptors but not AMPA receptors. Such synapses are silent at a normal resting potential due to voltage-dependent magnesium blockade of NMDA receptors.
Our laboratory mainly uses electrophysiological, morphological and molecular biological techniques to investigate molecular and cellular mechanisms of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Particularly, we are interested in the cellular mechanisms responsible for the activation of silent synapses. It has been recently reported that silent synapses can be rapidly awakened through a rapid acquisition of AMPA receptors. Our goal is to understand the intracellular signaling pathways for the rapid synaptic targeting of AMPA receptors.
Singh, B, Covelo, A, Martell-Martínez, H, Nanclares, C, Sherman, MA, Okematti, E, Meints, J, Teravskis, PJ, Gallardo, C, Savonenko, AV, Benneyworth, MA, Lesne, SE, Liao, D, Araque, A & Lee, MK 2019, 'Tau is required for progressive synaptic and memory deficits in a transgenic mouse model of ?-synucleinopathy', Acta Neuropathologica, vol. 138, no. 4, pp. 551-574. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00401-019-02032-w
Teravskis, PJ, Oxnard, BR, Miller, EC, Kemper, LJ, Ashe, KH & Liao, D 2019, 'Phosphorylation in two discrete tau domains regulates a stepwise process leading to postsynaptic dysfunction', Journal of Physiology. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP277459
Teravskis, PJ, Covelo, A, Miller, EC, Singh, B, Martell-Martínez, HA, Benneyworth, MA, Gallardo, C, Oxnard, BR, Araque, A, Lee, MK & Liao, D 2018, 'A53t mutant alpha-synuclein induces tau-dependent postsynaptic impairment independently of neurodegenerative changes' Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 38, no. 45, pp. 9754-9767. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0344-18.2018
Liao, D, Miller, EC & Teravskis, PJ 2014, 'Tau acts as a mediator for Alzheimer's disease-related synaptic deficits' European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 39, no. 7, pp. 1202-1213. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.12504
Miller, EC, Teravskis, PJ, Dummer, BW, Zhao, X, Huganir, RL & Liao, D 2014, 'Tau phosphorylation and tau mislocalization mediate soluble A? oligomer-induced AMPA glutamate receptor signaling deficits' European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 39, no. 7, pp. 1214-1224. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.12507
Miller, EC, Zhang, L, Dummer, BW, Cariveau, DR, Loh, HH, Law, P-Y & Liao, D 2012, 'Differential modulation of drug-induced structural and functional plasticity of dendritic spines' Molecular Pharmacology, vol. 82, no. 2, pp. 333-343. https://doi.org/10.1124/mol.112.078162
Hoover, BR, Reed, MN, Su, J, Penrod, RD, Kotilinek, LA, Grant, MK, Pitstick, R, Carlson, GA, Lanier, LM, Yuan, LL, Ashe, KH & Liao, D 2010, 'Tau Mislocalization to Dendritic Spines Mediates Synaptic Dysfunction Independently of Neurodegeneration' Neuron, vol. 68, no. 6, pp. 1067-1081. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2010.11.030
Kam, AYF, Liao, D, Loh, HH & Law, P-Y 2010, 'Morphine induces AMPA receptor internalization in primary hippocampal neurons via calcineurin-dependent dephosphorylation of GluR1 subunits' Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 30, no. 45, pp. 15304-15316. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4255-10.2010
Lin, H, Higgins, P, Loh, HH, Law, P-Y & Liao, D 2009, 'Bidirectional Effects of Fentanyl on Dendritic Spines and AMPA Receptors Depend Upon the Internalization of Mu Opioid Receptors' Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 34, no. 9, pp. 2097-2111. https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2009.34
Liao, D, Grigoriants, OO, Wang, W, Wiens, K, Loh, HH & Law, PY 2007, 'Distinct effects of individual opioids on the morphology of spines depend upon the internalization of mu opioid receptors' Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 456-469. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mcn.2007.04.007
NSCI 4105: Neurobiology Laboratory I (Fall and Summer semesters)