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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2014 Sep;71(17):3363-79. doi: 10.1007/s00018-014-1566-7. Epub 2014 Feb 4.

Drosophila Nesprin-1 controls glutamate receptor density at neuromuscular junctions.

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Equipe Différenciation Neuromusculaire, CNRS, UMR5239, Ecole Normale Supérieure-Lyon, 46 allée d'Italie, 69364, Lyon Cedex 07, France,


Nesprin-1 is a core component of a protein complex connecting nuclei to cytoskeleton termed LINC (linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton). Nesprin-1 is anchored to the nuclear envelope by its C-terminal KASH domain, the disruption of which has been associated with neuronal and neuromuscular pathologies, including autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxia and Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy. Here, we describe a new and unexpected role of Drosophila Nesprin-1, Msp-300, in neuromuscular junction. We show that larvae carrying a deletion of Msp-300 KASH domain (Msp-300 (∆KASH) ) present a locomotion defect suggestive of a myasthenia, and demonstrate the importance of muscle Msp-300 for this phenotype, using tissue-specific RNAi knock-down. We show that Msp-300 (∆KASH) mutants display abnormal neurotransmission at the larval neuromuscular junction, as well as an imbalance in postsynaptic glutamate receptor composition with a decreased percentage of GluRIIA-containing receptors. We could rescue Msp-300 (∆KASH) locomotion phenotypes by GluRIIA overexpression, suggesting that the locomotion impairment associated with the KASH domain deletion is due to a reduction in junctional GluRIIA. In summary, we found that Msp-300 controls GluRIIA density at the neuromuscular junction. Our results suggest that Drosophila is a valuable model for further deciphering how Nesprin-1 and LINC disruption may lead to neuronal and neuromuscular pathologies.

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