Send to

Choose Destination
Neuron. 2012 Mar 8;73(5):903-10. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.01.018.

FLRT proteins are endogenous latrophilin ligands and regulate excitatory synapse development.

Author information

Neurobiology Section, Division of Biology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.


Latrophilins (LPHNs) are a small family of G protein-coupled receptors known to mediate the massive synaptic exocytosis caused by the black widow spider venom α-latrotoxin, but their endogenous ligands and function remain unclear. Mutations in LPHN3 are strongly associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, suggesting a role for latrophilins in human cognitive function. Using affinity chromatography and mass spectrometry, we identify the FLRT family of leucine-rich repeat transmembrane proteins as endogenous postsynaptic ligands for latrophilins. We demonstrate that the FLRT3 and LPHN3 ectodomains interact with high affinity in trans and that interference with this interaction using soluble recombinant LPHN3, LPHN3 shRNA, or FLRT3 shRNA reduces excitatory synapse density in cultured neurons. In addition, reducing FLRT3 levels with shRNA in vivo decreases afferent input strength and dendritic spine number in dentate granule cells. These observations indicate that LPHN3 and its ligand FLRT3 play an important role in glutamatergic synapse development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center