May 20, 2015

Plexin-B3 suppresses excitatory and promotes inhibitory synapse formation in rat hippocampal neurons

Experimental Cell Research
Piret LahtAndres Veske


Molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity have become one of the main topics in neurobiology. Increasing evidence suggests that axon guidance molecules including semaphorins and plexins participate in synapse formation and elimination. Although class B plexins are widely expressed in the brain, their role in the nervous system remains poorly characterized. We previously identified that B-plexins modulate microtubule dynamics and through this impact dendrite growth in rat hippocampal neurons. Here, we demonstrate that Plexin-B2 and Plexin-B3 are present in dendrites, but do not localize in synapses. We find that overexpression of all B-plexins leads to decreased volume of excitatory synapses, and at the same time Plexin-B1 and Plexin-B3 promote inhibitory synapse assembly. Plexin-B3 mutants revealed that these processes use different downstream pathways. While elimination of excitatory synapses is the result of Plexin-B3 binding to microtubule end binding proteins EB1 and EB3, the increase in inhibitory synapses is mediated by regulation of Ras and Rho GTPases. Overall, our findings demonstrate that Plexin-B3 contributes to regulating synapse formation.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Calcinus elegans
Cyartonema elegans
Establishment and Maintenance of Localization
SEMA4D gene
Coleonyx elegans
Biochemical Pathway
SEMA4B gene
RASA1 wt Allele

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