Regulation of dendritic spine morphology by SPIN90, a novel Shank binding partner

J Neurochem. 2009 May;109(4):1106-17. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2009.06039.x. Epub 2009 Mar 19.


Dendritic spines are highly specialized actin-rich structures on which the majority of excitatory synapses are formed in the mammalian CNS. SPIN90 is an actin-binding protein known to be highly enriched in postsynaptic densities (PSDs), though little is known about its function there. Here, we show that SPIN90 is a novel binding partner for Shank proteins in the PSD. SPIN90 and Shank co-immunoprecipitate from brain lysates and co-localize in postsynaptic dendrites and act synergistically to mediate spine maturation and spine head enlargement. At the same time, SPIN90 causes accumulation of Shank and PSD-95 within dendritic spines. In addition, we found that the protein composition of PSDs in SPIN90 knockout mice is altered as is the actin cytoskeleton of cultured hippocampal SPIN90 knockout neurons. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that SPIN90 is a Shank1b binding partner and a key contributor to the regulation of dendritic spine morphogenesis and brain function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Blotting, Western
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytoskeleton / chemistry
  • DNA, Complementary / biosynthesis
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Dendritic Spines / physiology*
  • Dendritic Spines / ultrastructure*
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Protein Binding
  • Synapses / physiology
  • Transfection


  • Actins
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • SHANK1 protein, mouse
  • SPIN90 protein, mouse
  • Glutathione Transferase