News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience

1. PSD-95 and Dendriti Branching In Vitro
Erik I. Charych, Barbara F. Akum, Joshua S. Goldberg, Rebecka J. Jrnsten, Christopher Rongo, James Q. Zheng, and Bonnie L. Firestein

Many proteins are known to multitask, and postsynaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95) is no exception. As its name implies, this scaffolding protein came to attention for its role in the clustering of synaptic signaling molecules. However, PSD-95 can also be expressed outside synapses. This week, Charych et al demonstrate an effect of PSD in regulating dendrite branching. When the authors overexpressed PSD-95 in cultured hippocampal neurons, there was a decrease in the proportion of primary dendrites that undergo additional branching as well as a decrease in the total dendritic length. Overexpression of other family members, SAP-97 or SAP-102, had no apparent effect on dendritic branching. Antisense knockdown of PSD-95 by 65% had the opposite effect, causing an increase in secondary dendrites. Thus, it appears that PSD-95 can act as a stop signal for dendrite outgrowth and branching by a process that is activity dependent.

2. Rho GTPases and Myelin Formation
Tina Thurnherr, Yves Benninger, Xunwei Wu, Anna Chrostek, Sven M. Krause, Klaus-Armin Nave, Robin J. M. Franklin, Cord Brakebusch, Ueli Suter, and Joo B. Relvas

The formation of myelin sheaths is a carefully orchestrated process. In the CNS, oligodendrocyte progenitor cells respond to signals in their environment to proliferate and migrate, eventually differentiating into mature cells capable of wrapping CNS axons in sheet-like membranous extensions. The membrane layers are the compacted by the exclusion of cytoplasm to form myelin sheaths. Previous studies suggest that the Rho GTPases Cdc42 and rac1 regulate oligodendrocyte development. Thurnherr et al. sought to more precisely define their roles using Crerecombinase technology to knock out Cdc42 or rac1 in th

Contact: Sara Harris
Society for Neuroscience

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