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Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 16;6:21019. doi: 10.1038/srep21019.

Transferrin Receptor Controls AMPA Receptor Trafficking Efficiency and Synaptic Plasticity.

Liu K1,2,3,4, Lei R1,2,3,4, Li Q5, Wang XX5, Wu Q6, An P6, Zhang J2, Zhu M3,4, Xu Z7, Hong Y8, Wang F6, Shen Y5, Li H2, Li H3,4.

Author information

West China Developmental &Stem Cell Institute, West China Second Hospital, State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy and Cancer Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, and Collaborative Innovation Center for Biotherapy, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China.
Shenzhen Key Laboratory for Molecular Biology of Neural Development, Laboratory of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Institute of Biomedicine &Biotechnology, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055, China.
SARITEX Center for Stem Cell Engineering Translational Medicine, Shanghai East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine &Advanced Institute of Translational Medicine, Shanghai 200123, China.
ATCG Corp., BioBay, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China.
Department of Neurobiology, Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology of Ministry of Health of China, Zhejiang Province,Key Laboratory of Neurobiology, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058, China.
Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou 310058, China.
State Key Laboratory of Molecular Developmental Biology, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
Department of Cell Biology &Physiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


Transferrin receptor (TFR) is an important iron transporter regulating iron homeostasis and has long been used as a marker for clathrin mediated endocytosis. However, little is known about its additional function other than iron transport in the development of central nervous system (CNS). Here we demonstrate that TFR functions as a regulator to control AMPA receptor trafficking efficiency and synaptic plasticity. The conditional knockout (KO) of TFR in neural progenitor cells causes mice to develop progressive epileptic seizure, and dramatically reduces basal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP). We further demonstrate that TFR KO remarkably reduces the binding efficiency of GluR2 to AP2 and subsequently decreases AMPA receptor endocytosis and recycling. Thus, our study reveals that TFR functions as a novel regulator to control AMPA trafficking efficiency and synaptic plasticity.

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