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Neuron. 2004 Jan 22;41(2):229-41.

A CaMKII-NeuroD signaling pathway specifies dendritic morphogenesis.

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1
Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

The elaboration of dendrites is fundamental to the establishment of neuronal polarity and connectivity, but the mechanisms that underlie dendritic morphogenesis are poorly understood. We found that the genetic knockdown of the transcription factor NeuroD in primary granule neurons including in organotypic cerebellar slices profoundly impaired the generation and maintenance of dendrites while sparing the development of axons. We also found that NeuroD mediated neuronal activity-dependent dendritogenesis. The activity-induced protein kinase CaMKII catalyzed the phosphorylation of NeuroD at distinct sites, including endogenous NeuroD at Ser336 in primary neurons, and thereby stimulated dendritic growth. These findings uncover an essential function for NeuroD in granule neuron dendritic morphogenesis. Our study also defines the CaMKII-NeuroD signaling pathway as a novel mechanism underlying activity-regulated dendritic growth that may play important roles in the developing and mature brain.

PMID:
14741104
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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