• dendritic spine;
  • NMDA receptor;
  • p250GAP;
  • RhoA;
  • spine morphogenesis


The NMDA receptor regulates spine morphological plasticity by modulating Rho GTPases. However, the molecular mechanisms for NMDA receptor-mediated regulation of Rho GTPases remain elusive. In this study, we show that p250GAP, an NMDA receptor-associated RhoGAP, regulates spine morphogenesis by modulating RhoA activity. Knock-down of p250GAP increased spine width and elevated the endogenous RhoA activity in primary hippocampal neurons. The increased spine width by p250GAP knock-down was suppressed by the expression of a dominant-negative form of RhoA. Furthermore, p250GAP is involved in NMDA receptor-mediated RhoA activation. In response to NMDA receptor activation, exogenously expressed green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged p250GAP was redistributed. Thus, these data suggest that p250GAP plays an important role in NMDA receptor-mediated regulation of RhoA activity leading to spine morphological plasticity.