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Zhang, X., Rui, M., Gan, G., Huang, C., Yi, J., Lv, H., Xie, W. (2017). Neuroligin 4 regulates synaptic growth via the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction.  J. Biol. Chem. 292(44): 17991--18005.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0237099
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

The neuroligin (Nlg) family of neural cell adhesion molecules is thought to be required for synapse formation and development and has been linked to the development of autism spectrum disorders in humans. In Drosophila melanogaster, mutations in the neuroligin 1-3 genes have been reported to induce synapse developmental defects at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), but the role of neuroligin 4 (dnlg4) in synapse development has not been determined. Here, we report that the Drosophila neuroligin 4 (DNlg4) is different from DNlg1-3 in that it presynaptically regulates NMJ synapse development. Loss of dnlg4 results in reduced growth of NMJs with fewer synaptic boutons. The morphological defects caused by dnlg4 mutant are associated with a corresponding decrease in synaptic transmission efficacy. All of these defects could only be rescued when DNlg4 was expressed in the presynapse of NMJs. To understand the basis of DNlg4 function, we looked for genetic interactions and found connections with the components of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway. Immunostaining and Western blot analyses demonstrated that the regulation of NMJ growth by DNlg4 was due to the positive modulation of BMP signaling by DNlg4. Specifically, BMP type I receptor thickvein (Tkv) abundance was reduced in dnlg4 mutants, and immunoprecipitation assays showed that DNlg4 and Tkv physically interacted in vivo Our study demonstrates that DNlg4 presynaptically regulates neuromuscular synaptic growth via the BMP signaling pathway by modulating Tkv.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC5672027 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    J. Biol. Chem.
    Title
    Journal of Biological Chemistry
    Publication Year
    1905-
    ISBN/ISSN
    0021-9258
    Data From Reference
    Aberrations (1)
    Alleles (15)
    Genes (13)
    Physical Interactions (3)
    Natural transposons (1)
    Insertions (4)
    Experimental Tools (5)
    Transgenic Constructs (8)
    Transcripts (1)