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Cell Rep. 2014 Oct 9;9(1):298-310. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.08.061. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

GIT1 and βPIX are essential for GABA(A) receptor synaptic stability and inhibitory neurotransmission.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
2
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.
3
Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK. Electronic address: j.kittler@ucl.ac.uk.

Abstract

Effective inhibitory synaptic transmission requires efficient stabilization of GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) at synapses, which is essential for maintaining the correct excitatory-inhibitory balance in the brain. However, the signaling mechanisms that locally regulate synaptic GABA(A)R membrane dynamics remain poorly understood. Using a combination of molecular, imaging, and electrophysiological approaches, we delineate a GIT1/βPIX/Rac1/PAK signaling pathway that modulates F-actin and is important for maintaining surface GABA(A)R levels, inhibitory synapse integrity, and synapse strength. We show that GIT1 and βPIX are required for synaptic GABA(A)R surface stability through the activity of the GTPase Rac1 and downstream effector PAK. Manipulating this pathway using RNAi, dominant-negative and pharmacological approaches leads to a disruption of GABA(A)R clustering and decrease in the strength of synaptic inhibition. Thus, the GIT1/βPIX/Rac1/PAK pathway plays a crucial role in regulating GABA(A)R synaptic stability and hence inhibitory synaptic transmission with important implications for inhibitory plasticity and information processing in the brain.

PMID:
25284783
PMCID:
PMC4536293
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2014.08.061
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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