Faculty Profiles

Hengye Man

Hengye Man

Associate Professor of Biology

PhD, University of Toronto, 2001
Areas of interest: synaptic plasticity, glutamate receptors, protein trafficking, axon growth and neuron polarization, bioenergetics, neurodegenerative disorders and neuronal death
(617) 358-4283

Current Research

The modification in synaptic strength, or synaptic plasticity, is believed to be the molecular mechanism underpinning higher brain functions such as learning and memory. Therefore, it is of crucial importance to understand how synaptic transmission is regulated. Because information is transferred across the synapse via the binding neurotransmitters to their receptors, the localization and amount of receptors at the postsynaptic site is a major determinant of synaptic efficacy. Glutamatergic AMPA receptors (AMPARs) mediate the vast majority of excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain. It has been demonstrated that AMPARs are not static on the synaptic membrane; rather, they recycle continuously between the plasma membrane and the intracellular compartments. AMPARs are inserted to the plasma membrane via SNARE-mediated vesicle fusion and are internalized through clathrin-coated pit pathways. Alterations in AMPAR trafficking processes will lead to changes in synaptic receptor numbers and thus the strength of synaptic transmission. The main focus of our lab is to understand the cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying AMPAR synaptic localization and synaptic plasticity. The questions we address include: What molecules and signaling pathways determine AMPAR synaptic localization? How does neuronal activity regulate AMPA receptor trafficking and expression? How does the neuron maintain a specific amount of total receptors? How are receptors degraded and what regulates the rate of turnover? Using cultured cortical and hippocampal neurons and brain slices, we study receptor trafficking and synaptic transmission by employing a wide range of techniques including immunocytochemistry, confocal/fluorescence microscopy, live-imaging, biochemistry (western blotting, immunoprecipitation), and electrophysiology (patch clamp recording).

Courses Taught

  • BI 455/655 Developmental Neurobiology
  • BI 599 Neurobiology of Synapses

Selected Publications

  • Van Maldergem L, Hou Q, Kalscheuer VM, Rio M, Doco-Fenzy M, Medeira A, de Brouwer AP, Cabrol C, Haas SA, Cacciagli P, Moutton S, Landais E, Motte J, Colleaux L, Bonnet C, Villard L, Dupont J, Man HY (2013) Loss of function of KIAA2022 causes mild to severe intellectual disability with an autism spectrum disorder and impairs neurite outgrowth. Human Molecular Genetics, 22(16): 3306-3314.
  • Qingming H, Gilbert J, Man HY (2011) Homeostatic regulation of AMPA receptor trafficking and degradation by light-controlled single-synaptic activation. Neuron, 72 (5), 806-818.
  • S Amato S, Liu X, Zheng B, Cantley L, Rakic P, Man HY (2011) AMP-activated protein kinase regulates neuronal polarization by interfering with PI 3-kinase localization. Science, 332(6026):247-51.
  • Lin A, Hou Q, Jarzylo L, Amato S, Gilbert J, Shang F, Man HY (2011) Nedd4-mediated AMPA receptor ubiquitination regulates receptor turnover and trafficking. J. Neurochemistry, 117 (5), 614-625.
  • Zhang D, Hou Q, Wang M, Lin A, Navis A, Raissi A, Liu F, Man HY (2009) Na, K-ATPase activity regulates AMPA receptor turnover through proteasome-mediated proteolysis. J Neurosci., 29 (14): 4498-4511.
  • Hou Q, Zhang D, Jarzylo L, Huganir RL, Man HY (2008) Homeostatic regulation of AMPA receptor expression at single hippocampal synapses. PNAS, 105(2), 775-780.
  • Man HY, Sekine-Aizawa Y, Huganir RL (2007) Regulation of {alpha}-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor trafficking through PKA phosphorylation of the Glu receptor 1 subunit. PNAS, 104(9), 3579-84.
  • Huang Y, Man HY, Sekine-Aizawa Y, Han Y, Juluri K, Luo H, Cheah J, Lowenstein C, Huganir RL, Snyder SH (2005) S-nitrosylation of N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor mediates surface expression of AMPA receptors. Neuron, 46(4), 533-40.

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