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Palmitoylation of d-catenin by DHHC5 mediates activity-induced synapse plasticity


Brigidi, GS and Sun, Y and Beccano-Kelly, D and Pitman, K and Mobasser, M and Borgland, SL and Milnerwood, AJ and Bamji, SX, Palmitoylation of d-catenin by DHHC5 mediates activity-induced synapse plasticity, Nature Neuroscience, 17, (4) pp. 522-32. ISSN 1097-6256 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2014 Nature America

DOI: doi:10.1038/nn.3657


Synaptic cadherin adhesion complexes are known to be key regulators of synapse plasticity. However, the molecular mechanisms that coordinate activity-induced modifications in cadherin localization and adhesion and the subsequent changes in synapse morphology and efficacy remain unknown. We demonstrate that the intracellular cadherin binding protein d-catenin is transiently palmitoylated by DHHC5 after enhanced synaptic activity and that palmitoylation increases d-catenin–cadherin interactions at synapses. Both the palmitoylation of d-catenin and its binding to cadherin are required for activity-induced stabilization of N-cadherin at synapses and the enlargement of postsynaptic spines, as well as the insertion of GluA1 and GluA2 subunits into the synaptic membrane and the concomitant increase in miniature excitatory postsynaptic current amplitude. Notably, context-dependent fear conditioning in mice resulted in increased d-catenin palmitoylation, as well as increased d-catenin–cadherin associations at hippocampal synapses. Together these findings suggest a role for palmitoylated d-catenin in coordinating activity-dependent changes in synaptic adhesion molecules, synapse structure and receptor localization that are involved in memory formation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:synaptic plasticity
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Pitman, K (Dr Kimberley Pitman)
ID Code:104773
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:81
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2015-11-19
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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