Dendritic spine morphology and dendritic arborization are key determinants of neuronal connectivity and play critical roles in learning, memory and behavior function. Recently, defects of ZBTB20, a BTB and zinc finger domain containing transcriptional repressor, have been implicated in a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders, including intellectual disability and autism. Here we show distinct effects of expression of two major isoforms, long and short, of ZBTB20, and its neurodevelopmental disorder-linked variants, on dendritic architecture of cultured rat cortical pyramidal neurons. The N-terminal of ZBTB20 showed a role in regulating dendritic spine morphology. Two ZBTB20 single nucleotide variants, located at the N-terminal and central regions of the protein and potentially conferring autism risk, altered dendritic spine morphology. In contrast, a single nucleotide variant identified in patients with intellectual disability and located at the C-terminus of ZBTB20 affected dendritic arborization and dendritic length but had no effect on dendritic spine morphology. Furthermore, truncation of the extreme C-terminus of ZBTB20 caused spine and dendritic morphological changes that were similar but distinct from those caused by the C-terminal variant. Taken together, our study suggests ZBTB20's role in dendritic and synaptic structure and provide possible mechanisms of its effect in neurodevelopmental disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)