Chemical genetic identification of NDR1/2 kinase substrates AAK1 and Rabin8 uncovers their roles in dendrite arborization and spine development

Abstract

Dendrite arborization and synapse formation are essential for wiring the neural circuitry. The evolutionarily conserved NDR1/2 kinase pathway, important for polarized growth from yeast to mammals, controls dendrite growth and morphology in the worm and fly. The function of NDR1/2 in mammalian neurons and their downstream effectors were not known. Here we show that the expression of dominant negative (kinase-dead) NDR1/2 mutants or siRNA increase dendrite length and proximal branching of mammalian pyramidal neurons in cultures and in vivo, whereas the expression of constitutively active NDR1/2 has the opposite effect. Moreover, NDR1/2 contributes to dendritic spine development and excitatory synaptic function. We further employed chemical genetics and identified NDR1/2 substrates in the brain, including two proteins involved in intracellular vesicle trafficking: AAK1 (AP-2 associated kinase) and Rabin8, a GDP/GTP exchange factor (GEF) of Rab8 GTPase. We finally show that AAK1 contributes to dendrite growth regulation, and Rabin8 regulates spine development.

Journal details

Journal Neuron
Volume 73
Issue number 6
Pages 1127-1142
Publication date

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