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2 Janelia Publications

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    05/03/19 | The glutamine transporter Slc38a1 regulates GABAergic neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity.
    Qureshi T, Sørensen C, Berghuis P, Jensen V, Dobszay MB, Farkas T, Dalen KT, Guo C, Hassel B, Utheim TP, Hvalby Ø, Hafting T, Harkany T, Fyhn M, Chaudhry FA
    Cerebal Cortex. 2019 May 03:. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhz055

    GABA signaling sustains fundamental brain functions, from nervous system development to the synchronization of population activity and synaptic plasticity. Despite these pivotal features, molecular determinants underscoring the rapid and cell-autonomous replenishment of the vesicular neurotransmitter GABA and its impact on synaptic plasticity remain elusive. Here, we show that genetic disruption of the glutamine transporter Slc38a1 in mice hampers GABA synthesis, modifies synaptic vesicle morphology in GABAergic presynapses and impairs critical period plasticity. We demonstrate that Slc38a1-mediated glutamine transport regulates vesicular GABA content, induces high-frequency membrane oscillations and shapes cortical processing and plasticity. Taken together, this work shows that Slc38a1 is not merely a transporter accumulating glutamine for metabolic purposes, but a key component regulating several neuronal functions.

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    02/13/19 | Dystroglycan is a scaffold for extracellular axon guidance decisions.
    Lindenmaier LB, Parmentier N, Guo C, Tissir F, Wright KM
    eLife. 2019 Feb 13;8:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.42143

    Axon guidance requires interactions between extracellular signaling molecules and transmembrane receptors, but how appropriate context-dependent decisions are coordinated outside the cell remains unclear. Here we show that the transmembrane glycoprotein Dystroglycan interacts with a changing set of environmental cues that regulate the trajectories of extending axons throughout the mammalian brain and spinal cord. Dystroglycan operates primarily as an extracellular scaffold during axon guidance, as it functions non-cell autonomously and does not require signaling through its intracellular domain. We identify the transmembrane receptor Celsr3/Adgrc3 as a binding partner for Dystroglycan, and show that this interaction is critical for specific axon guidance events . These findings establish Dystroglycan as a multifunctional scaffold that coordinates extracellular matrix proteins, secreted cues, and transmembrane receptors to regulate axon guidance.

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