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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Dec 17;110(51):20795-800. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1309078110. Epub 2013 Dec 2.

Collybistin activation by GTP-TC10 enhances postsynaptic gephyrin clustering and hippocampal GABAergic neurotransmission.

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Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine, 37075 Göttingen, Germany.


In many brain regions, gephyrin and GABAA receptor clustering at developing inhibitory synapses depends on the guanine nucleotide exchange factor collybistin (Cb). The vast majority of Cb splice variants contain an autoinhibitory src homology 3 domain, and several synaptic proteins are known to bind to this SH3 domain and to thereby activate gephyrin clustering. However, many functional GABAergic synapses form independently of the known Cb-activating proteins, indicating that additional Cb activators must exist. Here we show that the small Rho-like GTPase TC10 stimulates Cb-dependent gephyrin clustering by binding in its active, GTP-bound state to the pleckstrin homology domain of Cb. Overexpression of a constitutively active TC10 variant in neurons causes an increase in the density of synaptic gephyrin clusters and mean miniature inhibitory postsynaptic current amplitudes, whereas a dominant negative TC10 variant has opposite effects. The enhancement of Cb-induced gephyrin clustering by GTP-TC10 does not depend on the guanine nucleotide exchange activity of Cb but involves an interaction that resembles reported interactions of other small GTPases with their effectors. Our data indicate that GTP-TC10 activates the major src homology 3 domain-containing Cb variants by relieving autoinhibition and thus define an alternative GTPase-driven signaling pathway in the genesis of inhibitory synapses.


Cdc42; RhoQ; neuroligin; postsynaptic scaffold; synaptogenesis

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