Combinatorial expression of neurexins and LAR-type phosphotyrosine phosphatase receptors instructs assembly of a cerebellar circuit

Nat Commun. 2023 Aug 17;14(1):4976. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-40526-0.


Synaptic adhesion molecules (SAMs) shape the structural and functional properties of synapses and thereby control the information processing power of neural circuits. SAMs are broadly expressed in the brain, suggesting that they may instruct synapse formation and specification via a combinatorial logic. Here, we generate sextuple conditional knockout mice targeting all members of the two major families of presynaptic SAMs, Neurexins and leukocyte common antigen-related-type receptor phospho-tyrosine phosphatases (LAR-PTPRs), which together account for the majority of known trans-synaptic complexes. Using synapses formed by cerebellar Purkinje cells onto deep cerebellar nuclei as a model system, we confirm that Neurexins and LAR-PTPRs themselves are not essential for synapse assembly. The combinatorial deletion of both neurexins and LAR-PTPRs, however, decreases Purkinje-cell synapses on deep cerebellar nuclei, the major output pathway of cerebellar circuits. Consistent with this finding, combined but not separate deletions of neurexins and LAR-PTPRs impair motor behaviors. Thus, Neurexins and LAR-PTPRs are together required for the assembly of a functional cerebellar circuit.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain
  • Cerebellum*
  • Cognition
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Phosphotyrosine
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases
  • Purkinje Cells*
  • Receptor-Like Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases, Class 2 / genetics


  • Phosphotyrosine
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases
  • Receptor-Like Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases, Class 2