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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Reg1ulatory role and molecular interactions of a cell-surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan (N-syndecan) in hippocampal long-term potentiation.

The cellular mechanisms responsible for synaptic plasticity involve interactions between neurons and the extracellular matrix. Heparan sulfates (HSs) constitute a group of glycosaminoglycans that accumulate in the beta-amyloid deposits in Alzheimer's disease and influence the development of neuron-target contacts by interacting with other cell surface and matrix molecules. However, the contribution of HSs to brain function is unknown. We found that HSs play a crucial role in long-term potentiation (LTP), a finding that is consistent with the idea that converging molecular mechanisms are used in the development of neuron-target contacts and in activity-induced synaptic plasticity in adults. Enzymatic cleavage of HS by heparitinase as well as addition of soluble heparin-type carbohydrates prevented expression of LTP in response to 100 Hz/1 sec stimulation of Schaffer collaterals in rat hippocampal slices. A prominent carrier protein for the type of glycans implicated in LTP regulation in the adult hippocampus was identified as N-syndecan (syndecan-3), a transmembrane proteoglycan that was expressed at the processes of the CA1 pyramidal neurons in an activity-dependent manner. Addition of soluble N-syndecan into the CA1 dendritic area prevented tetanus-induced LTP. A major substrate of src-type kinases, cortactin ( p80/85), and the tyrosine kinase fyn copurified with N-syndecan from hippocampus. Moreover, association of both cortactin and fyn to N-syndecan was rapidly increased after induction of LTP. N-syndecan may thus act as an important regulator in the activity-dependent modulation of neuronal connectivity by transmitting signals between extracellular heparin-binding factors and the fyn signaling pathway.[1]


  1. Reg1ulatory role and molecular interactions of a cell-surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan (N-syndecan) in hippocampal long-term potentiation. Lauri, S.E., Kaukinen, S., Kinnunen, T., Ylinen, A., Imai, S., Kaila, K., Taira, T., Rauvala, H. J. Neurosci. (1999) [Pubmed]
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