Differential expression of Homer family proteins in the developing mouse brain

J Comp Neurol. 2004 Jun 7;473(4):582-99. doi: 10.1002/cne.20116.


Homer acts as a postsynaptic adaptor protein that links multiple targets, such as proteins involved in glutamate receptor signaling. We report the differential expression of the long form of Homer proteins produced from three distinctive genes during postnatal development of the mouse brain. Homer 1b/c and Cupidin/Homer 2a/b are widespread throughout the developing brain and are down-regulated in hindbrain-origin regions, such as the cerebellum, pons, and medulla oblongata. In contrast, Homer 3a/b is restricted to the cerebellum, hippocampus, and neonatal olfactory bulb. In the cerebellum, Homer 1b/c and Cupidin/Homer 2a/b predominate in the postsynapses of developing granule cells, whereas Homer 3a/b is concentrated in the dendritic spines of Purkinje cells and their axons. The down-regulation of Homer 1b/c and Cupidin/Homer 2a/b is in marked contrast to the up-regulation of Homer 3a/b between the first and the second postnatal weeks. In the hippocampus, Homer 1b/c and Cupidin/Homer 2a/b are largely located in the CA1 region and the CA1-CA2 region, respectively, whereas Homer 3a/b is largely distributed in the CA2-CA3 region and peaks around the third postnatal week. In hippocampal cell cultures, Homer 1b/c and Cupidin/Homer 2a/b are expressed in inhibitory and excitatory neurons, whereas Homer 3a/b is largely expressed in excitatory neurons but not in inhibitory neurons. In the developing olfactory bulb, Homer 1b/c and Cupidin/Homer 2a/b are up-regulated in the granular, external plexiform, and glomerular layers, whereas Homer 3a/b drastically decreases in these regions within the first postnatal week. Cupidin/Homer 2a/b is also expressed in olfactory sensory neurons within a distinct olfactory epithelial zone and is then widely distributed to both the axons in the olfactory nerve layer and the cilia in the olfactory epithelium. These results demonstrate that Homer family members have distinct regional, cellular, and subcellular distributions in time and space during postnatal brain development.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins / analysis
  • Carrier Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • Homer Scaffolding Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Neuropeptides / analysis
  • Neuropeptides / biosynthesis*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Homer Scaffolding Proteins
  • Neuropeptides