Porcupine Controls Hippocampal AMPAR Levels, Composition, and Synaptic Transmission

Cell Rep. 2016 Feb 2;14(4):782-794. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.12.078. Epub 2016 Jan 14.


AMPA receptor (AMPAR) complexes contain auxiliary subunits that modulate receptor trafficking and gating. In addition to the transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) and cornichons (CNIH-2/3), recent proteomic studies identified a diverse array of additional AMPAR-associated transmembrane and secreted partners. We systematically surveyed these and found that PORCN and ABHD6 increase GluA1 levels in transfected cells. Knockdown of PORCN in rat hippocampal neurons, which express it in high amounts, selectively reduces levels of all tested AMPAR complex components. Regulation of AMPARs is independent of PORCN's membrane-associated O-acyl transferase activity. PORCN knockdown in hippocampal neurons decreases AMPAR currents and accelerates desensitization and leads to depletion of TARP γ-8 from AMPAR complexes. Conditional PORCN knockout mice also exhibit specific changes in AMPAR expression and gating that reduce basal synaptic transmission but leave long-term potentiation intact. These studies define additional roles for PORCN in controlling synaptic transmission by regulating the level and composition of hippocampal AMPAR complexes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acyltransferases
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Potentiation
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Rats
  • Receptors, AMPA / genetics
  • Receptors, AMPA / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Transmission*
  • Xenopus


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Receptors, AMPA
  • TARP
  • Acyltransferases
  • Porcn protein, mouse