The spine apparatus (SA) is an endoplasmic reticulum-related organelle that is present in a subset of dendritic spines in cortical and pyramidal neurons, and plays an important role in Ca2+ homeostasis and dendritic spine plasticity. The protein synaptopodin is essential for the formation of the SA and is widely used as a maker for this organelle. However, it is still unclear which factors contribute to its localization at selected synapses, and how it triggers local SA formation. In this study, we characterized development, localization and mobility of synaptopodin clusters in hippocampal primary neurons, as well as the molecular dynamics within these clusters. Interestingly, synaptopodin at the shaft-associated clusters is less dynamic than at spinous clusters. We identify the actin-based motor proteins myosin V (herein referring to both the myosin Va and Vb forms) and VI as novel interaction partners of synaptopodin, and demonstrate that myosin V is important for the formation and/or maintenance of the SA. We found no evidence of active microtubule-based transport of synaptopodin. Instead, new clusters emerge inside spines, which we interpret as the SA being assembled on-site.
Keywords: Dendritic spines; F-actin; Myosin; Spine apparatus; Synaptopodin.
© 2019. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.