The actin cytoskeleton in dendritic spines is organized into microdomains, but how signaling molecules that regulate actin are spatially governed is incompletely understood. Here we examine how the localization of the RacGEF kalirin-7, a well-characterized regulator of actin in spines, varies as a function of post-synaptic density area and spine volume. Using serial section electron microscopy, we find that extrasynaptic, but not synaptic, expression of kalirin-7 varies directly with synapse size and spine volume. Moreover, we find that overall expression levels of kalirin-7 differ in spines bearing perforated and non-perforated synapses, due primarily to extrasynaptic pools of kalirin-7 expression in the former. Overall, our findings indicate that kalirin-7 is differentially compartmentalized in spines as a function of both synapse morphology and spine size.
- Dendritic spine
- Post-synaptic density
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience