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J Cell Sci. 2009 Feb 15;122(Pt 4):524-34. doi: 10.1242/jcs.033464. Epub 2009 Jan 27.

Drebrin A regulates dendritic spine plasticity and synaptic function in mature cultured hippocampal neurons.

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  • 1INMED/INSERM U29, Parc Scientifique de Luminy, 13273, Marseille, France.


Drebrin A, one of the most abundant neuron-specific F-actin-binding proteins, is found exclusively in dendrites and is particularly concentrated in dendritic spines receiving excitatory inputs. We investigated the role of drebrin A in synaptic transmission and found that overexpression of drebrin A augmented the glutamatergic synaptic transmission, probably through an increase of active synaptic site density. Interestingly, overexpression of drebrin A also affected the frequency, amplitude and kinetics of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs), despite the fact that GABAergic synapse density and transmission efficacy were not modified. Downregulation of drebrin A led to a decrease of both glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic activity. In heterologous cells, drebrin A reorganized and stabilized F-actin and these effects were mediated by its actin-binding domain. Thus, drebrin A might regulate dendritic spine morphology via regulation of actin cytoskeleton remodeling and dynamics. Our data demonstrate for the first time that drebrin A modulates glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic activities.

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