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Santana, E., de Los Reyes, T., Casas-Tintó, S. (2020). Small heat shock proteins determine synapse number and neuronal activity during development.  PLoS ONE 15(5): e0233231.
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Environmental changes cause stress, Reactive Oxygen Species and unfolded protein accumulation which hamper synaptic activity and trigger cell death. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) assist protein refolding to maintain proteostasis and cellular integrity. Mechanisms regulating the activity of HSPs include transcription factors and posttranslational modifications that ensure a rapid response. HSPs preserve synaptic function in the nervous system upon environmental insults or pathological factors and contribute to the coupling between environmental cues and neuron control of development. We have performed a biased screening in Drosophila melanogaster searching for synaptogenic modulators among HSPs during development. We explore the role of two small-HSPs (sHSPs), sHSP23 and sHSP26 in synaptogenesis and neuronal activity. Both sHSPs immunoprecipitate together and the equilibrium between both chaperones is required for neuronal development and activity. The molecular mechanism controlling HSP23 and HSP26 accumulation in neurons relies on a novel gene (CG1561), which we name Pinkman (pkm). We propose that sHSPs and Pkm are targets to modulate the impact of stress in neurons and to prevent synapse loss.

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PMC7241713 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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