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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Apr 20;107(16):7568-73. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0911798107. Epub 2010 Apr 5.

SynCAM 1 participates in axo-dendritic contact assembly and shapes neuronal growth cones.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

Abstract

Neuronal growth cones are highly motile structures that tip developing neurites and explore their surroundings before axo-dendritic contact and synaptogenesis. However, the membrane proteins organizing these processes remain insufficiently understood. Here we identify that the synaptic cell adhesion molecule 1 (SynCAM 1), an immunoglobulin superfamily member, is already expressed in developing neurons and localizes to their growth cones. Upon interaction of growth cones with target neurites, SynCAM 1 rapidly assembles at these contacts to form stable adhesive clusters. Synaptic markers can also be detected at these sites. Addressing the functions of SynCAM 1 in growth cones preceding contact, we determine that it is required and sufficient to restrict the number of active filopodia. Further, SynCAM 1 negatively regulates the morphological complexity of migrating growth cones. Focal adhesion kinase, a binding partner of SynCAM 1, is implicated in its morphogenetic activities. These results reveal that SynCAM 1 acts in developing neurons to shape migrating growth cones and contributes to the adhesive differentiation of their axo-dendritic contacts.

PMID:
20368431
PMCID:
PMC2867738
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0911798107
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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