Autism and Schizophrenia-Associated CYFIP1 Regulates the Balance of Synaptic Excitation and Inhibition.

Elizabeth Davenport, Blanka Szulc, James Drew, James Taylor, Toby Morgan, Nathalie Higgs, Guillermo López-Doménech, Josef T Kittler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Altered excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) balance is implicated in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, but the underlying genetic etiology remains poorly understood. Copy number variations in CYFIP1 are associated with autism, schizophrenia, and intellectual disability, but its role in regulating synaptic inhibition or E/I balance remains unclear. We show that CYFIP1, and the paralog CYFIP2, are enriched at inhibitory postsynaptic sites. While CYFIP1 or CYFIP2 upregulation increases excitatory synapse number and the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs), it has the opposite effect at inhibitory synapses, decreasing their size and the amplitude of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs). Contrary to CYFIP1 upregulation, its loss in vivo, upon conditional knockout in neocortical principal cells, increases expression of postsynaptic GABAA receptor β2/3-subunits and neuroligin 3, enhancing synaptic inhibition. Thus, CYFIP1 dosage can bi-directionally impact inhibitory synaptic structure and function, potentially leading to altered E/I balance and circuit dysfunction in CYFIP1-associated neurological disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2037-2051
Number of pages14
JournalCell Reports
Issue number8
Early online date19 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2019


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