3 years ago

Cdk5-dependent phosphorylation of liprin{alpha}1 mediates neuronal activity-dependent synapse development [Neuroscience]

Cdk5-dependent phosphorylation of liprin{alpha}1 mediates neuronal activity-dependent synapse development [Neuroscience]
Zhuoyi Liang, Michael M. T. Loy, Shengwang Du, Teng Zhao, Kwok-On Lai, Nancy Y. Ip, Huiqian Huang, Amy K. Y. Fu, Xiaochen Lin

The experience-dependent modulation of brain circuitry depends on dynamic changes in synaptic connections that are guided by neuronal activity. In particular, postsynaptic maturation requires changes in dendritic spine morphology, the targeting of postsynaptic proteins, and the insertion of synaptic neurotransmitter receptors. Thus, it is critical to understand how neuronal activity controls postsynaptic maturation. Here we report that the scaffold protein liprinα1 and its phosphorylation by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) are critical for the maturation of excitatory synapses through regulation of the synaptic localization of the major postsynaptic organizer postsynaptic density (PSD)-95. Whereas Cdk5 phosphorylates liprinα1 at Thr701, this phosphorylation decreases in neurons in response to neuronal activity. Blockade of liprinα1 phosphorylation enhances the structural and functional maturation of excitatory synapses. Nanoscale superresolution imaging reveals that inhibition of liprinα1 phosphorylation increases the colocalization of liprinα1 with PSD-95. Furthermore, disruption of liprinα1 phosphorylation by a small interfering peptide, siLIP, promotes the synaptic localization of PSD-95 and enhances synaptic strength in vivo. Our findings collectively demonstrate that the Cdk5-dependent phosphorylation of liprinα1 is important for the postsynaptic organization during activity-dependent synapse development.

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