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Membrane-associated guanylate kinase scaffolds organize a horizontal cell synaptic complex restricted to invaginating contacts with photoreceptors.

Synaptic processes and plasticity of synapses are mediated by large suites of proteins. In most cases, many of these proteins are tethered together by synaptic scaffold proteins. Scaffold proteins have a large number and typically a variety of protein interaction domains that allow many different proteins to be assembled into functional complexes. Because each scaffold protein has a different set of protein interaction domains and a unique set of interacting partners, the presence of synaptic scaffolds can provide insight into the molecular mechanisms that regulate synaptic processes. In studies of rabbit retina, we found SAP102 and Chapsyn110 selectively localized in the tips of B-type horizontal cell processes, where they contact cone and rod photoreceptors. We further identified some known SAP102 binding partners, kainate receptor GluR6/7 and inward rectifier potassium channel Kir2.1, closely associated with SAP102 in photoreceptor invaginations. The kainate receptor occupies a position distinct from that of the majority of AMPA receptors that dominate the horizontal cell postsynaptic response. GluR6/7 and Kir2.1 presumably are involved in synaptic processes that govern cell-to-cell communication and could both contribute in different ways to synaptic currents that mediate feedback signaling. Notably, we failed to find evidence for the presence of Cx57 or Cx59 that might be involved in ephaptic feedback signaling in this complex. The presence of SAP102 and its binding partners in both cone and rod invaginating synapses suggests that whatever mechanism is supported by this protein complex is present in both types of photoreceptors. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:850-867, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Pubmed ID: 27558197 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | Extracellular Matrix | Guanylate Kinases | Microscopy, Confocal | Photoreceptor Cells | Rabbits | Retinal Horizontal Cells | Synapses

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