Synaptic activity induces changes in the number of dendritic spines. Here, we report a pathway of regulated endocytosis triggered by arcadlin, a protocadherin induced by electroconvulsive and other excitatory stimuli in hippocampal neurons. The homophilic binding of extracellular arcadlin domains activates TAO2β, a splice variant of the thousand and one amino acid protein kinase 2, cloned here by virtue of its binding to the arcadlin intracellular domain. TAO2β is a MAPKKK that activates the MEK3 MAPKK, which phosphorylates the p38 MAPK. Activation of p38 feeds-back on TAO2β, phosphorylating a key serine required for triggering endocytosis of N-cadherin at the synapse. Arcadlin knockout increases the number of dendritic spines, and the phenotype is rescued by siRNA knockdown of N-cadherin. This pathway of regulated endocytosis of N-cadherin via protocadherin/TAO2β/MEK3/p38 provides a molecular mechanism for transducing neuronal activity into changes in synaptic morphologies. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Yasuda, S., Tanaka, H., Sugiura, H., Okamura, K., Sakaguchi, T., Tran, U., … Yamagata, K. (2007). Activity-Induced Protocadherin Arcadlin Regulates Dendritic Spine Number by Triggering N-Cadherin Endocytosis via TAO2β and p38 MAP Kinases. Neuron, 56(3), 456–471. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2007.08.020