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The 22 γ-Protocadherin (γ-Pcdh) cell adhesion molecules are critical for the elaboration of complex dendritic arbors in the cerebral cortex. Here, we provide evidence that the γ-Pcdhs negatively regulate synapse development by inhibiting the postsynaptic cell adhesion molecule, neuroligin-1 (Nlg1). Mice lacking all γ-Pcdhs in the forebrain exhibit significantly increased dendritic spine density in vivo, while spine density is significantly decreased in mice overexpressing one of the 22 γ-Pcdh isoforms. Co-expression of γ-Pcdhs inhibits the ability of Nlg1 to increase spine density and to induce presynaptic differentiation in hippocampal neurons in vitro. The γ-Pcdhs physically interact in cis with Nlg1 both in vitro and in vivo, and we present evidence that this disrupts Nlg1 binding to its presynaptic partner neurexin1β. Together with prior work, these data identify a mechanism through which γ-Pcdhs could coordinate dendrite arbor growth and complexity with spine maturation in the developing brain. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Michael J Molumby, Rachel M Anderson, Dillan J Newbold, Norah K Koblesky, Andrew M Garrett, Dietmar Schreiner, Jason J Radley, Joshua A Weiner. γ-Protocadherins Interact with Neuroligin-1 and Negatively Regulate Dendritic Spine Morphogenesis. Cell reports. 2017 Mar 14;18(11):2702-2714

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PMID: 28297673

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