{gamma}-Secretase and metalloproteinase activity regulate the distribution of endoplasmic reticulum to hippocampal neuron dendritic spines.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The neuronal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) contributes to many physiological and pathological processes in the brain. A subset of dendritic spines on hippocampal neurons contains ER that may contribute to synapse-specific intracellular signaling. Distribution of ER to spines is dynamic, but knowledge of the regulatory mechanisms is lacking. In live cell imaging experiments we now show that cultured hippocampal neurons rapidly lost ER from spines after phorbol ester treatment. ER loss was reduced by inhibiting gamma-secretase (DAPT at 2 microM) and metalloproteinase (TAPI-0 and GM6001 at 4 microM) activity. Inhibition of protein kinase C also diminished loss of ER by preventing exit of ER from spines. Furthermore, gamma-secretase and metalloproteinase inhibition, in the absence of phorbol ester, triggered a dramatic increase in spine ER content. Metalloproteinases and gamma-secretase cleave several transmembrane proteins. Many of these substrates are known to localize to adherens junctions, a structural specialization with which spine ER interacts. One interesting possibility is thus that ER content within spines may be regulated by proteolytic activity affecting adherens junctions. Our data demonstrate a hitherto unknown role for these two proteolytic activities in regulating dynamic aspects of cellular ultrastructure, which is potentially important for cellular calcium homeostasis and several intracellular signaling pathways.-Ng, A. N., Toresson, H. gamma-Secretase and metalloproteinase activity regulate the distribution of endoplasmic reticulum to hippocampal neuron dendritic spines.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology


  • primary culture, synapse, live cell imaging
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2832-2842
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Experimental Brain Research (0131000120), Clinical Memory Research Unit (013242610), Laboratory for Experimental Brain Research (013041000)

Related research output

Ai Na Ng, 2010, Lund University: Faculty of Medicine. 140 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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