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Neuron. 1999 May;23(1):149-57.

Molecular determinants for subcellular localization of PSD-95 with an interacting K+ channel.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Ion channels and PSD-95 are colocalized in specific neuronal subcellular locations by an unknown mechanism. To investigate mechanisms of localization, we used biolistic techniques to express GFP-tagged PSD-95 (PSD-95:GFP) and the K(+)-selective channel Kv1.4 in slices of rat cortex. In pyramidal cells, PSD-95:GFP required a single PDZ domain and a region including the SH3 domain for localization to postsynaptic sites. When transfected alone, PSD-95:GFP was present in dendrites but absent from axons. When cotransfected with Kv1.4, PSD-95:GFP appeared in both axons and dendrites, while Kv1.4 was restricted to axons. When domains that mediate the interaction of Kv1.4 and PSD-95 were disrupted, Kv1.4 localized nonspecifically. Our results provide evidence that Kv1.4 itself may determine its subcellular location, while an associated MAGUK protein is a necessary but not sufficient cofactor.

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