PKCγ-Mediated Phosphorylation of CRMP2 Regulates Dendritic Outgrowth in Cerebellar Purkinje Cells

Mol Neurobiol. 2020 Dec;57(12):5150-5166. doi: 10.1007/s12035-020-02038-6. Epub 2020 Aug 29.


The signalling protein PKCγ is a major regulator of Purkinje cell development and synaptic function. We have shown previously that increased PKCγ activity impairs dendritic development of cerebellar Purkinje cells. Mutations in the protein kinase Cγ gene (PRKCG) cause spinocerebellar ataxia type 14 (SCA14). In a transgenic mouse model of SCA14 expressing the human S361G mutation, Purkinje cell dendritic development is impaired in cerebellar slice cultures similar to pharmacological activation of PKC. The mechanisms of PKCγ-driven inhibition of dendritic growth are still unclear. Using immunoprecipitation-coupled mass spectrometry analysis, we have identified collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) as a protein interacting with constitutive active PKCγ(S361G) and confirmed the interaction with the Duolink™ proximity ligation assay. We show that in cerebellar slice cultures from PKCγ(S361G)-mice, phosphorylation of CRMP2 at the known PKC target site Thr555 is increased in Purkinje cells confirming phosphorylation of CRMP2 by PKCγ. miRNA-mediated CRMP2 knockdown decreased Purkinje cell dendritic outgrowth in dissociated cerebellar cultures as did the transfection of CRMP2 mutants with a modified Thr555 site. In contrast, dendritic development was normal after wild-type CRMP2 overexpression. In a novel knock-in mouse expressing only the phospho-defective T555A-mutant CRMP2, Purkinje cell dendritic development was reduced in dissociated cultures. This reduction could be rescued by transfecting wild-type CRMP2 but only partially by the phospho-mimetic T555D-mutant. Our findings establish CRMP2 as an important target of PKCγ phosphorylation in Purkinje cells mediating its control of dendritic development. Dynamic regulation of CRMP2 phosphorylation via PKCγ is required for its correct function.

Keywords: Collapsin response mediator protein 2; Protein kinase C gamma; Purkinje cell dendritic development; Spinocerebellar ataxia type 14.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cerebellum / cytology*
  • Dendrites / metabolism*
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Biological
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phosphothreonine / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism*
  • Purkinje Cells / metabolism*


  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • collapsin response mediator protein-2
  • Phosphothreonine
  • protein kinase C gamma
  • Protein Kinase C