Carboxypeptidase E Independently Changes Microtubule Glutamylation, Dendritic Branching, and Neuronal Migration

ASN Neuro. 2022 Jan-Dec;14:17590914211062765. doi: 10.1177/17590914211062765.


Neuronal migration and dendritogenesis are dependent on dynamic changes to the microtubule (MT) network. Among various factors that regulate MT dynamics and stability, post-translational modifications (PTMs) of MTs play a critical role in conferring specificity of regulatory protein binding to MTs. Thus, it is important to understand the regulation of PTMs during brain development as multiple developmental processes are dependent on MTs. In this study, we identified that carboxypeptidase E (CPE) changes tubulin polyglutamylation, a major PTM in the brain, and we examine the impact of CPE-mediated changes to polyglutamylation on cortical neuron migration and dendrite morphology. We show, for the first time, that overexpression of CPE increases the level of polyglutamylated α-tubulin while knockdown decreases the level of polyglutamylation. We also demonstrate that CPE-mediated changes to polyglutamylation are dependent on the CPE zinc-binding motif and that this motif is necessary for CPE action on p150Glued localization. However, overexpression of a CPE mutant that does not increase MT glutamylation mimics the effects of overexpression of wild type CPE on dendrite branching. Furthermore, although overexpression of wild type CPE does not alter cortical neuron migration, overexpression of the mutant may act in a dominant-negative manner as it decreases the number of neurons that reach the cortical plate (CP), as we previously reported for CPE knockdown. Overall, our data suggest that CPE changes MT glutamylation and redistribution of p150Glued and that this function of CPE is independent of its role in shaping dendrite development but plays a partial role in regulating cortical neuron migration.

Keywords: carboxypeptidase E; p150Glued; polyglutamylation; zinc-binding motif; α-tubulin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Carboxypeptidase H
  • Microtubules*
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neurons
  • Tubulin*


  • Tubulin
  • Carboxypeptidase H