Reduced SNAP-25 increases PSD-95 mobility and impairs spine morphogenesis. uri icon


  • Impairment of synaptic function can lead to neuropsychiatric disorders collectively referred to as synaptopathies. The SNARE protein SNAP-25 is implicated in several brain pathologies and, indeed, brain areas of psychiatric patients often display reduced SNAP-25 expression. It has been recently found that acute downregulation of SNAP-25 in brain slices impairs long-term potentiation; however, the processes through which this occurs are still poorly defined. We show that in vivo acute downregulation of SNAP-25 in CA1 hippocampal region affects spine number. Consistently, hippocampal neurons from SNAP-25 heterozygous mice show reduced densities of dendritic spines and defective PSD-95 dynamics. Finally, we show that, in brain, SNAP-25 is part of a molecular complex including PSD-95 and p140Cap, with p140Cap being capable to bind to both SNAP-25 and PSD-95. These data demonstrate an unexpected role of SNAP-25 in controlling PSD-95 clustering and open the possibility that genetic reductions of the protein levels - as occurring in schizophrenia - may contribute to the pathology through an effect on postsynaptic function and plasticity.

publication date

  • September 2015