SNX26, a GTPase-activating protein for Cdc42, interacts with PSD-95 protein and is involved in activity-dependent dendritic spine formation in mature neurons.
ABSTRACT: SNX26, a brain-enriched RhoGAP, plays a key role in dendritic arborization during early neuronal development in the neocortex. In mature neurons, it is localized to dendritic spines, but little is known about its role in later stages of development. Our results show that SNX26 interacts with PSD-95 in dendritic spines of cultured hippocampal neurons, and as a GTPase-activating protein for Cdc42, it decreased the F-actin content in COS-7 cells and in dendritic spines of neurons. Overexpression of SNX26 resulted in a GTPase-activating protein activity-dependent decrease in total protrusions and spine density together with dramatic inhibition of filopodia-to-spine transformations. Such effects of SNX26 were largely rescued by a constitutively active mutant of Cdc42. Consistently, an shRNA-mediated knockdown of SNX26 significantly increased total protrusions and spine density, resulting in an increase in thin or stubby type spines at the expense of the mushroom spine type. Moreover, endogenous expression of SNX26 was shown to be bi-directionally modulated by neuronal activity. Therefore, we propose that in addition to its key role in neuronal development, SNX26 also has a role in the activity-dependent structural change of dendritic spines in mature neurons.
Project description:Dendritic spines undergo continuous remodeling during development of the nervous system. Their stability is essential for maintaining a functional neuronal circuit. Spine dynamics and stability of cortical excitatory pyramidal neurons have been explored extensively in mammalian animal models. However, little is known about spiny interneurons in non-mammalian vertebrate models. In the present study, neuronal morphology was visualized by single-cell electroporation. Spiny neurons were surveyed in the Xenopus tadpole brain and observed to be widely distributed in the olfactory bulb and telencephalon. DsRed- or PSD95-GFP-expressing spiny interneurons in the olfactory bulb were selected for in vivo time-lapse imaging. Dendritic protrusions were classified as filopodia, thin, stubby, or mushroom spines based on morphology. Dendritic spines on the interneurons were highly dynamic, especially the filopodia and thin spines. The stubby and mushroom spines were relatively more stable, although their stability significantly decreased with longer observation intervals. The 4 spine types exhibited diverse preferences during morphological transitions from one spine type to others. Sensory deprivation induced by severing the olfactory nerve to block the input of mitral/tufted cells had no significant effects on interneuron spine stability. Hence, a new model was established in Xenopus laevis tadpoles to explore dendritic spine dynamics in vivo.
Project description:Homer is a postsynaptic scaffold protein that links various synaptic signaling proteins, including the type I metabotropic glutamate receptor subunits 1alpha and 5, the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor, Shank and Cdc42 small GTPase. Overexpression of Homer induces changes in dendritic spine morphology in cultured hippocampal neurons. However, the molecular basis underpinning Homer-mediated spine morphogenesis remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the structural and functional properties of the interaction between Cupidin/Homer2 and two actin-cytoskeletal regulators, Cdc42 small GTPase and Drebrin.Cupidin/Homer2 interacted with activated Cdc42 small GTPase via the Cdc42-binding domain that resides around amino acid residues 191-283, within the C-terminal coiled-coil domain. We generated a Cupidin deletion mutant lacking amino acids 191-230 (CPDDelta191-230), which showed decrease Cdc42-binding ability but maintained self-multimerization ability. Cupidin suppressed Cdc42-induced filopodia-like protrusion formation in HeLa cells, whereas CPDDelta191-230 failed to do so. In cultured hippocampal neurons, Cupidin was targeted to dendritic spines, whereas CPDDelta191-230 was distributed in dendritic shafts as well as spines. Overexpression of CPDDelta191-230 decreased the number of synapses and reduced the amplitudes of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents in hippocampal neurons. Cupidin interacted with a dendritic spine F-actin-binding protein, Drebrin, which possesses two Homer ligand motifs, via the N-terminal EVH-1 domain. CPDDelta191-230 overexpression decreased Drebrin clustering in the dendritic spines of hippocampal neurons.These results indicate that Cupidin/Homer2 interacts with the dendritic spine actin regulators Cdc42 and Drebrin via its C-terminal and N-terminal domains, respectively, and that it may be involved in spine morphology and synaptic properties.
Project description:The 30-amino acid peptide Y-P30 corresponds to the N-terminus of the primate-specific, sweat gland-derived dermcidin prepropeptide. Previous work has revealed that Y-P30 enhances the interaction of pleiotrophin and syndecans-2/3, and thus represents a natural ligand to study this signaling pathway. In immature neurons, Y-P30 activates the c-Src and p42/44 ERK kinase pathway, increases the amount of F-actin in axonal growth cones, and promotes neuronal survival, cell migration and axonal elongation. The action of Y-P30 on axonal growth requires syndecan-3 and heparan sulfate side chains. Whether Y-P30 has the potential to influence dendrites and dendritic protrusions has not been explored. The latter is suggested by the observations that syndecan-2 expression increases during postnatal development, that syndecan-2 becomes enriched in dendritic spines, and that overexpression of syndecan-2 in immature neurons results in a premature morphological maturation of dendritic spines. Here, analysing rat cortical pyramidal and non-pyramidal neurons in organotypic cultures, we show that Y-P30 does not alter the development of the dendritic arborization patterns. However, Y-P30 treatment decreases the density of apical, but not basal dendritic protrusions at the expense of the filopodia. Analysis of spine morphology revealed an unchanged mushroom/stubby-to-thin spine ratio and a shortening of the longest decile of dendritic protrusions. Whole-cell recordings from cortical principal neurons in dissociated cultures grown in the presence of Y-P30 demonstrated a decrease in the frequency of glutamatergic mEPSCs. Despite these differences in protrusion morphology and synaptic transmission, the latter likely attributable to presynaptic effects, calcium event rate and amplitude recorded in pyramidal neurons in organotypic cultures were not altered by Y-P30 treatment. Together, our data suggest that Y-P30 has the capacity to decelerate spinogenesis and to promote morphological, but not synaptic, maturation of dendritic protrusions.
Project description:Dendritic spines are small protrusions on dendrites that endow neurons with the ability to receive and transform synaptic input. Dendritic spine number and morphology are altered as a consequence of synaptic plasticity and circuit refinement during adolescence. Dendritic spine density (DSD) is significantly different based on sex in subcortical brain regions associated with the generation of sex-specific behaviors. It is largely unknown if sex differences in DSD exist in auditory and visual brain regions and if there are sex-specific changes in DSD in these regions that occur during adolescent development. We analyzed dendritic spines in 4-week-old (P28) and 12-week-old (P84) male and female mice and found that DSD is lower in female mice due in part to fewer short stubby, long stubby and short mushroom spines. We found striking layer-specific patterns including a significant age by layer interaction and significantly decreased DSD in layer 4 from P28 to P84. Together these data support the possibility of developmental sex differences in DSD in visual and auditory regions and provide evidence of layer-specific refinement of DSD over adolescent brain development.
Project description:Centaurin alpha1 is an Arf GTPase-activating protein (GAP) that is highly expressed in the nervous system. In the current study, we show that endogenous centaurin alpha1 protein is localized in the synaptosome fraction, with peak expression in early postnatal development. In cultured dissociated hippocampal neurons, centaurin alpha1 localizes to dendrites, dendritic spines and the postsynaptic region. siRNA-mediated knockdown of centaurin alpha1 levels or overexpression of a GAP-inactive mutant of centaurin alpha1 leads to inhibition of dendritic branching, dendritic filopodia and spine-like protrusions in dissociated hippocampal neurons. Overexpression of wild-type centaurin alpha1 in cultured hippocampal neurons in early development enhances dendritic branching, and increases dendritic filopodia and lamellipodia. Both filopodia and lamellipodia have been implicated in dendritic branching and spine formation. Following synaptogenesis in cultured neurons, wild-type centaurin alpha1 expression increases dendritic filopodia and spine-like protrusions. Expression of a GAP-inactive mutant diminishes spine density in CA1 pyramidal neurons within cultured organotypic hippocampal slice cultures. These data support the conclusion that centaurin alpha1 functions through GAP-dependent Arf regulation of dendritic branching and spines that underlie normal dendritic differentiation and development.
Project description:Dysbindin is a schizophrenia susceptibility gene required for the development of dendritic spines. The expression of dysbindin proteins is decreased in the brains of schizophrenia patients, and neurons in mice carrying a deletion in the dysbindin gene have fewer dendritic spines. Hence, dysbindin might contribute to the spine pathology of schizophrenia, which manifests as a decrease in the number of dendritic spines. The development of dendritic spines is a dynamic process involving formation, retraction, and transformation of dendritic protrusions. It has yet to be determined whether dysbindin regulates the dynamics of dendritic protrusions. Here we address this question using time-lapse imaging in hippocampal neurons. Our results show that dysbindin is required to stabilize dendritic protrusions. In dysbindin-null neurons, dendritic protrusions are hyperactive in formation, retraction, and conversion between different types of protrusions. We further show that CaMKII? is required for the stabilization of mushroom/thin spines, and that the hyperactivity of dendritic protrusions in dysbindin-null neurons is attributed in part to decreased CaMKII? activity resulting from increased inhibition of CaMKII? by Abi1. These findings elucidate the function of dysbindin in the dynamic morphogenesis of dendritic protrusions, and reveal the essential roles of dysbindin and CaMKII? in the stabilization of dendritic protrusions during neuronal development.
Project description:The ubiquitously expressed activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) has been variably reported to either promote or inhibit neuronal plasticity and memory. However, the potential cellular bases for these and other actions of ATF4 in brain are not well-defined. In this report, we focus on ATF4's role in post-synaptic synapse development and dendritic spine morphology. shRNA-mediated silencing of ATF4 significantly reduces the densities of PSD-95 and GluR1 puncta (presumed markers of excitatory synapses) in long-term cultures of cortical and hippocampal neurons. ATF4 knockdown also decreases the density of mushroom spines and increases formation of abnormally-long dendritic filopodia in such cultures. In vivo knockdown of ATF4 in adult mouse hippocampal neurons also reduces mushroom spine density. In contrast, ATF4 over-expression does not affect the densities of PSD-95 puncta or mushrooom spines. Regulation of synaptic puncta and spine densities by ATF4 requires its transcriptional activity and is mediated at least in part by indirectly controlling the stability and expression of the total and active forms of the actin regulatory protein Cdc42. In support of such a mechanism, ATF4 silencing decreases the half-life of Cdc42 in cultured cortical neurons from 31.5 to 18.5 h while knockdown of Cdc42, like ATF4 knockdown, reduces the densities of mushroom spines and PSD-95 puncta. Thus, ATF4 appears to participate in neuronal development and plasticity by regulating the post-synaptic development of synapses and dendritic mushroom spines via a mechanism that includes regulation of Cdc42 levels.
Project description:The function of dendritic spines, postsynaptic sites of excitatory input in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS), is still not well understood. Although changes in spine morphology may mediate synaptic plasticity, the extent of basal spine motility and its regulation and function remains controversial. We investigated spine motility in three principal neurons of the mouse CNS: cerebellar Purkinje cells, and cortical and hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Motility was assayed with time-lapse imaging by using two-photon microscopy of green fluorescent protein-labeled neurons in acute and cultured slices. In all three cell types, dendritic protrusions (filopodia and spines) were highly dynamic, exhibiting a diversity of morphological rearrangements over short (<1-min) time courses. The incidence of spine motility declined during postnatal maturation, but dynamic changes were still apparent in many spines in late-postnatal neurons. Although blockade or induction of neuronal activity did not affect spine motility, disruption of actin polymerization did. We hypothesize that this basal motility of dendritic protrusions is intrinsic to the neuron and underlies the heightened plasticity found in developing CNS.
Project description:Neuronal morphology plays an essential role in neuronal function. The establishment and maintenance of neuronal morphology is intimately linked to the actin cytoskeleton; however, the molecular mechanisms that regulate changes in neuronal morphology are poorly understood. Here we identify a novel myosin-Va (MyoVa)-interacting protein, RILPL2, which regulates cellular morphology. Overexpression of this protein in young or mature hippocampal neurons results in an increase in the number of spine-like protrusions. By contrast, knockdown of endogenous RILPL2 in neurons by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) interference results in reduced spine-like protrusions, a phenotype rescued by overexpression of an shRNA-insensitive RILPL2 mutant, suggesting a role for RILPL2 in both the establishment and maintenance of dendritic spines. Interestingly, we demonstrate that RILPL2 and the Rho GTPase Rac1 form a complex, and that RILPL2 is able to induce activation of Rac1 and its target, p21-activated kinase (Pak). Notably, both RILPL2-mediated morphological changes and activation of Rac1-Pak signaling were blocked by expression of a truncated tail form of MyoVa or MyoVa shRNA, demonstrating that MyoVa is crucial for proper RILPL2 function. This might represent a novel mechanism linking RILPL2, the motor protein MyoVa and Rac1 with neuronal structure and function.
Project description:The myelin-associated protein Nogo-A is a well-known inhibitor of axonal regeneration and compensatory plasticity, yet functions of neuronal Nogo-A are not as clear. The present study examined the effects of decreased levels of neuronal Nogo-A on dendritic spines of developing neocortical neurons. Decreased Nogo-A levels in these neurons resulted in lowered spine density and an increase in filopodial type protrusions. These results suggest a role for neuronal Nogo-A in maintaining a spine phenotype in neocortical pyramidal cells.