Author(s): Tada T, Simonetta A, Batterton M, Kinoshita M, Edbauer D,
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Abstract Septins are GTP-binding proteins that polymerize into heteromeric filaments and form microscopic bundles or ring structures in vitro and in vivo. Because of these properties and their ability to associate with membrane, F-actin, and microtubules, septins have been generally regarded as cytoskeletal components [1, 2]. Septins are known to play roles in cytokinesis, in membrane trafficking, and as structural scaffolds; however, their function in neurons is poorly understood. Many members of the septin family, including Septin 7 (Sept7), were found by mass-spectrometry analysis of postsynaptic density (PSD) fractions of the brain [3, 4], suggesting a possible postsynaptic function of septins in neurons. We report that Sept7 is localized at the base of dendritic protrusions and at dendritic branch points in cultured hippocampal neurons--a distribution reminiscent of septin localization in the bud neck of budding yeast. Overexpression of Sept7 increased dendrite branching and the density of dendritic protrusions, whereas RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of Sept7 led to reduced dendrite arborization and a greater proportion of immature protrusions. These data suggest that Sept7 is critical for spine morphogenesis and dendrite development during neuronal maturation.
This article was published in Curr Biol
and referenced in Brain Disorders & Therapy