PIASx is a MEF2 SUMO E3 ligase that promotes postsynaptic dendritic morphogenesis

Aryaman Shalizi, Parizad M. Bilimoria, Judith Stegmüller, Brice Gaudillière, Yue Yang, Ke Shuai, Azad Bonni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Postsynaptic morphogenesis of dendrites is essential for the establishment of neural connectivity in the brain, but the mechanisms that govern postsynaptic dendritic differentiation remain poorly understood. Sumoylation of the transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2A (MEF2A) promotes the differentiation of postsynaptic granule neuron dendritic claws in the cerebellar cortex. Here, we identify the protein PIASx as a MEF2 SUMO E3 ligase that represses MEF2-dependent transcription in neurons. Gain-of-function and genetic knockdown experiments in rat cerebellar slices and in the postnatal cerebellum in vivo reveal that PIASx drives the differentiation of granule neuron dendritic claws in the cerebellar cortex. MEF2A knockdown suppresses PIASx-induced dendritic claw differentiation, and expression of sumoylated MEF2A reverses PIASx knockdown-induced loss of dendritic claws. These findings define the PIASx-MEF2 sumoylation signaling link as a key mechanism that orchestrates postsynaptic dendritic claw morphogenesis in the cerebellar cortex and suggest novel functions for SUMO E3 ligases in brain development and plasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10037-10046
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume27
Issue number37
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 12 2007

Keywords

  • Cerebellar cortex
  • Dendrite
  • Granule neurons
  • Signal transduction
  • Sumoylation
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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