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TrkB and protein kinase Mζ regulate synaptic localization of PSD-95 in developing cortex.

Postsynaptic density 95 (PSD-95), the major scaffold at excitatory synapses, is critical for synapse maturation and learning. In rodents, eye opening, the onset of pattern vision, triggers a rapid movement of PSD-95 from visual neuron somata to synapses. We showed previously that the PI3 kinase-Akt pathway downstream of BDNF/TrkB signaling stimulates synaptic delivery of PSD-95 via vesicular transport. However, vesicular transport requires PSD-95 palmitoylation to attach it to a lipid membrane. Also, PSD-95 insertion at synapses is known to require this lipid modification. Here, we show that BDNF/TrkB signaling is also necessary for PSD-95 palmitoylation and its transport to synapses in mouse visual cortical layer 2/3 neurons. However, palmitoylation of PSD-95 requires the activation of another pathway downstream of BDNF/TrkB, namely, signaling through phospholipase Cγ and the brain-specific PKC variant protein kinase M ζ (PKMζ). We find that PKMζ selectively regulates phosphorylation of the palmitoylation enzyme ZDHHC8. Inhibition of PKMζ results in a reduction of synaptic PSD-95 accumulation in vivo, which can be rescued by overexpressing ZDHHC8. Therefore, TrkB and PKMζ, two critical regulators of synaptic plasticity, facilitate PSD-95 targeting to synapses. These results also indicate that palmitoylation can be regulated by a trophic factor. Our findings have implications for neurodevelopmental disorders as well as aging brains.

Pubmed ID: 21849550 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | Cells, Cultured | Drug Delivery Systems | Female | Guanylate Kinases | Male | Membrane Proteins | Mice | Mice, Inbred C57BL | Mice, Transgenic | Pregnancy | Protein Kinase C | Protein Transport | Receptor, trkB | Synapses | Visual Cortex

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Associated grants

  • Agency: NEI NIH HHS, Id: R01 EY014074
  • Agency: NIBIB NIH HHS, Id: R01EB001987
  • Agency: NEI NIH HHS, Id: R01 EY006039
  • Agency: NEI NIH HHS, Id: R01 EY006039-28
  • Agency: NIBIB NIH HHS, Id: R01 EB001987
  • Agency: NEI NIH HHS, Id: R01EY006039-27

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