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beta-Catenin regulates excitatory postsynaptic strength at hippocampal synapses

Okuda, T; Yu, LMY; Cingolani, LA; Kemler, R; Goda, Y; (2007) beta-Catenin regulates excitatory postsynaptic strength at hippocampal synapses. P NATL ACAD SCI USA , 104 (33) 13479 - 13484. 10.1073/pnas.0702334104.

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The precise contribution of the cadherin-beta-catenin synapse adhesion complex in the functional and structural changes associated with the pre- and postsynaptic terminals remains unclear. Here we report a requirement for endogenous beta-catenin in regulating synaptic strength and dendritic spine morphology in cultured hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Ablating 13-catenin after the initiation of synaptogenesis in the postsynaptic neuron reduces the amplitude of spontaneous excitatory synaptic responses without a concurrent change in their frequency and synapse density. The normal glutamatergic synaptic response is maintained by postsynaptic beta-catenin in a cadherin-dependent manner and requires the C-terminal PDZ-binding motif of 13-catenin but not the link to the actin cytoskeleton. In addition, ablating 13-catenin in postsynaptic neurons accompanies a block of bidirectional quantal scaling of glutamatergic responses induced by chronic activity manipulation. in older cultures at a time when neurons have abundant dendritic spines, neurons ablated for 13-catenin show thin, elongated spines and reduced proportion of mushroom spines without a change in spine density. Collectively, these findings suggest that the cadherin-g-catenin complex is an integral component of synaptic strength regulation and plays a basic role in coupling synapse function and spine morphology.

Type: Article
Title: beta-Catenin regulates excitatory postsynaptic strength at hippocampal synapses
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0702334104
Keywords: alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors, spine morphology, synapse adhesion proteins, quantal scaling, AMPA RECEPTOR TRAFFICKING, N-CADHERIN, DENDRITIC SPINES, NEUROTRANSMITTER RELEASE, ADHERENS JUNCTIONS, SYNAPTIC STRUCTURE, ALPHA-CATENIN, CELL-ADHESION, IN-VIVO, NEURONS
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/120321
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