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Science. 2006 Feb 17;311(5763):1012-7.

A calcium-regulated MEF2 sumoylation switch controls postsynaptic differentiation.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, 77 Louis Pasteur Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

Postsynaptic differentiation of dendrites is an essential step in synapse formation. We report here a requirement for the transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2A (MEF2A) in the morphogenesis of postsynaptic granule neuron dendritic claws in the cerebellar cortex. A transcriptional repressor form of MEF2A that is sumoylated at lysine-403 promoted dendritic claw differentiation. Activity-dependent calcium signaling induced a calcineurin-mediated dephosphorylation of MEF2A at serine-408 and, thereby, promoted a switch from sumoylation to acetylation at lysine-403, which led to inhibition of dendritic claw differentiation. Our findings define a mechanism underlying postsynaptic differentiation that may modulate activity-dependent synapse development and plasticity in the brain.

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PMID:
16484498
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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