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J Neurosci. 2010 Sep 22;30(38):12733-44. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0896-10.2010.

Neuroligin 1 is dynamically exchanged at postsynaptic sites.

Author information

1
Center for Molecular Neurobiology (ZMNH), University of Hamburg Medical School, D-20251 Hamburg, Germany.

Abstract

Neuroligins are postsynaptic cell adhesion molecules that associate with presynaptic neurexins. Both factors form a transsynaptic connection, mediate signaling across the synapse, specify synaptic functions, and play a role in synapse formation. Neuroligin dysfunction impairs synaptic transmission, disrupts neuronal networks, and is thought to participate in cognitive diseases. Here we report that chemical treatment designed to induce long-term potentiation or long-term depression (LTD) induces neuroligin 1/3 turnover, leading to either increased or decreased surface membrane protein levels, respectively. Despite its structural role at a crucial transsynaptic position, GFP-neuroligin 1 leaves synapses in hippocampal neurons over time with chemical LTD-induced neuroligin internalization depending on an intact microtubule cytoskeleton. Accordingly, neuroligin 1 and its binding partner postsynaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95) associate with components of the dynein motor complex and undergo retrograde cotransport with a dynein subunit. Transgenic depletion of dynein function in mice causes postsynaptic NLG1/3 and PSD-95 enrichment. In parallel, PSD lengths and spine head sizes are significantly increased, a phenotype similar to that observed upon transgenic overexpression of NLG1 (Dahlhaus et al., 2010). Moreover, application of a competitive PSD-95 peptide and neuroligin 1 C-terminal mutagenesis each specifically alter neuroligin 1 surface membrane expression and interfere with its internalization. Our data suggest the concept that synaptic plasticity regulates neuroligin turnover through active cytoskeleton transport.

PMID:
20861378
PMCID:
PMC3108891
DOI:
10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0896-10.2010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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