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    Tetraspanins (Tspan) are transmembrane proteins with important scaffold and signalling functions. Deletions of Tetraspanin 6 (Tspan6) gene, a member of the tetraspanin family, have been reported in patients with Epilepsy Female-restricted with Mental Retardation (EFMR). Interestingly, mutations in Tspan7, highly homologous to Tspan6, are associated with X-linked intellectual disability, suggesting that these two proteins are important for cognition. Considering recent evidences showing that Tspan7 plays a key role in synapse development and AMPAR trafficking, we initiated the study of Tspan6 in synaptic function using a Tspan6 knock out mouse model. Here we report that hippocampal field recordings from Tspan6 knock out mice show an enhanced basal synaptic transmission and impaired long term potentiation (LTP). A normal paired-pulse facilitation response suggests that Tspan6 affects the properties of the postsynaptic rather than the presynaptic terminal. However, no changes in spine morphology or postsynaptic markers could be detected in Tspan6 KO mice compared with wild types. In addition, Tspan6 KO mice show normal locomotor behaviour and no defects in hippocampus-dependent memory tests.


    Isabel H Salas, Zsuzsanna Callaerts-Vegh, Amaia M Arranz, Francesc X Guix, Rudi D'Hooge, José A Esteban, Bart De Strooper, Carlos G Dotti. Tetraspanin 6: A novel regulator of hippocampal synaptic transmission and long term plasticity. PloS one. 2017;12(2):e0171968

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    PMID: 28207852

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