Activity-driven mobilization of post-synaptic proteins

Authors


Dr Michael A. Colicos, as above.
E-mail: mcolicos@ucalgary.ca

Abstract

Synapses established during central nervous system development can be modified through synapse elimination and formation. These processes are, in part, activity dependent and require regulated trafficking of post-synaptic components. Here, we investigate the activity-driven remodeling of cultured rat hippocampal neurons at 14 days in vitro, focusing on the post-synaptic proteins PSD-95, Shank, neuroligin (NL)1 and actin. Using live imaging and photoconductive stimulation, we found that high-frequency activity altered the trajectory, but not velocity, of PSD-95-GFP and Shank-YFP clusters, whereas it reduced the speed and increased the number of NL1 clusters. Actin-CFP reorganized into puncta following activity and ∼50% of new puncta colocalized with NL1 clusters. Actin reorganization was enhanced by the overexpression of NL1 and decreased by the expression of an NL1 mutant, NL1-R473C. These results demonstrate activity-dependent changes that may result in the formation of new post-synaptic sites and suggest that NL1 modulates actin reorganization. The results also suggest that a common mechanism underlies both the developmental and activity-dependent remodeling of excitatory synapses.

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