Multiple cell adhesion molecules shaping a complex nicotinic synapse on neurons

Gallen B Triana-Baltzer, Zhaoping Liu, Natalia V Gounko, Darwin K Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Neuroligin, SynCAM, and L1-CAM are cell adhesion molecules with synaptogenic roles in glutamatergic pathways. We show here that SynCAM is expressed in the chick ciliary ganglion, embedded in a nicotinic pathway, and, as shown previously for neuroligin and L1-CAM, acts transcellularly to promote synaptic maturation on the neurons in culture. Moreover, we show that electroporation of chick embryos with dominant negative constructs disrupting any of the three molecules in vivo reduces the total amount of presynaptic SV2 overlaying the neurons expressing the constructs. Only disruption of L1-CAM and neuroligin, however, reduces the number of SV2 puncta specifically overlaying nicotinic receptor clusters. Disrupting L1-CAM and neuroligin together produces no additional decrement, indicating that they act on the same subset of synapses. SynCAM may affect synaptic maturation rather than synapse formation. The results indicate that individual neurons can express multiple synaptogenic molecules with different effects on the same class of nicotinic synapses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-82
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule L1
  • Neurons
  • RNA Interference
  • Receptors, Nicotinic
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Synapses


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