Correlation Engine 2.0
Clear Search sequence regions

Sizes of these terms reflect their relevance to your search.

EPAC2 is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor that regulates GTPase activity of the small GTPase Rap and Ras and is highly enriched at synapses. Activation of EPAC2 has been shown to induce dendritic spine shrinkage and increase spine motility, effects that are necessary for synaptic plasticity. These morphological effects are dysregulated by rare mutations of Epac2 associated with autism spectrum disorders. In addition, EPAC2 destabilizes synapses through the removal of synaptic GluA2/3-containing AMPA receptors. Previous work has shown that Epac2 knockout mice (Epac2-/-) display abnormal social interactions, as well as gross disorganization of the frontal cortex and abnormal spine motility in vivo. In this study we sought to further understand the cellular consequences of knocking out Epac2 on the development of neuronal and synaptic structure and organization of cortical neurons. Using primary cortical neurons generated from Epac2+/+ or Epac2-/- mice, we confirm that EPAC2 is required for cAMP-dependent spine shrinkage. Neurons from Epac2-/- mice also displayed increased synaptic expression of GluA2/3-containing AMPA receptors, as well as of the adhesion protein N-cadherin. Intriguingly, analysis of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic proteins revealed that loss of EPAC2 resulted in altered expression of vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) but not vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGluT1), indicating an altered ratio of excitatory and inhibitory synapses onto neurons. Finally, examination of cortical neurons located within the anterior cingulate cortex further revealed subtle deficits in the establishment of dendritic arborization in vivo. These data provide evidence that loss of EPAC2 enhances the stability of excitatory synapses and increases the number of inhibitory inputs. Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Kelly A Jones, Michiko Sumiya, Kevin M Woolfrey, Deepak P Srivastava, Peter Penzes. Loss of EPAC2 alters dendritic spine morphology and inhibitory synapse density. Molecular and cellular neurosciences. 2019 Jul;98:19-31

Expand section icon Mesh Tags

Expand section icon Substances

PMID: 31059774

View Full Text