The polarity protein PAR-1 plays an essential role in many cellular contexts, including embryogenesis, asymmetric cell division, directional migration, and epithelial morphogenesis. Despite its known importance in different cellular processes, the role of PAR-1 in neuronal morphogenesis is less well understood. In particular, its role in the morphogenesis of dendritic spines, which are sites of excitatory synaptic inputs, has been unclear. Here, we show that PAR-1 is required for normal spine morphogenesis in hippocampal neurons. We further show that PAR-1 functions through phosphorylating the synaptic scaffolding protein PSD-95 in this process. Phosphorylation at a conserved serine residue in the KXGS motif in PSD-95 regulates spine morphogenesis, and a phosphomimetic mutant of this site can rescue the defects of kinase-dead PAR-1. Together, our findings uncover a role of PAR-1 in spine morphogenesis in hippocampal neurons through phosphorylating PSD-95.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology