News tips from The Journal of Neuroscience

1. The Glutamate Receptor δ2 Subunit in Cerebellar LTD
Satoshi Yawata, Hiroshi Tsuchida, Mineko Kengaku, and Tomoo Hirano

The glutamate receptor subunit δ2 has been an enigma. It does not fit with the functional grouping of glutamate receptors, but it is selectively expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells (PNs) and is required for induction of long-term depression (LTD) at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses. This week, Yawata et al. identified a proximal cytoplasmic domain in δ2 that is necessary for LTD and for interaction with PICK1 (protein interacting with C kinase 1). The authors transfected GluRδ2-deficient PNs with various deletion mutants. The PDZ (postsynaptic density 95/Discs large/zona occludens-1)-binding region was not required for localization to dendritic spines or for LTD. A mutant truncated after the first 21 amino acids of the C terminus rescued LTD, whereas one containing only 13 amino acids of the C terminus did not. Expression of a peptide containing amino acids C1420 acted as a dominant negative, blocking LTD perhaps by interfering with a δ2PICK1 interaction.

2. Growing Axons Find NG2 Cells Attractive
Zhongshu Yang, Ryusuke Suzuki, Stephen B. Daniels, Christopher B. Brunquell, Christopher J. Sala, and Akiko Nishiyama

This week, Yang et al. examined the effect on neurite outgrowth of glial cells that express the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan NG2. The authors refer to these cells as NG2 cells, but as they differentiate into oligodendrocytes, they are more commonly called oligodendrocyte precursor cells. NG2 can inhibit neurite outgrowth, but the authors found that neurites of hippocampal neurons in short-term cultures preferred to make contact with NG2 cells rather than with a polylysine-coated surface or mature oligodendrocytes. In vivo, axonal growth cones made extensive contact with NG2 cells in the corpus callosum. Neurons extended processes on astrocy

Contact: Sara Harris
Society for Neuroscience

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