The endosome localized Arf-GAP AGAP1 modulates dendritic spine morphology downstream of the neurodevelopmental disorder factor dysbindin

Academic Article


  • AGAP1 is an Arf1 GTPase activating protein that interacts with the vesicle-associated protein complexes adaptor protein 3 (AP-3) and Biogenesis of Lysosome Related Organelles Complex-1 (BLOC-1). Overexpression of AGAP1 in non-neuronal cells results in an accumulation of endosomal cargoes, which suggests a role in endosomedependent traffic. In addition, AGAP1 is a candidate susceptibility gene for two neurodevelopmental disorders, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia (SZ); yet its localization and function in neurons have not been described. Here, we describe that AGAP1 localizes to axons, dendrites, dendritic spines and synapses, colocalizing preferentially with markers of early and recycling endosomes. Functional studies reveal overexpression and down-regulation of AGAP1 affects both neuronal endosomal trafficking and dendritic spine morphology, supporting a role for AGAP1 in the recycling endosomal trafficking involved in their morphogenesis. Finally, we determined the sensitivity of AGAP1 expression to mutations in the DTNBP1 gene, which is associated with neurodevelopmental disorder, and found that AGAP1 mRNA and protein levels are selectively reduced in the null allele of the mouse ortholog of DTNBP1. We postulate that endosomal trafficking contributes to the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders affecting dendritic spine morphology, and thus excitatory synapse structure and function.
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    Author List

  • Arnold M; Cross R; Singleton KS; Zlatic S; Chapleau C; Mullin AP; Rolle I; Moore CC; Theibert A; Pozzo-Miller L
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • SEP2016