By conveying signals from the small GTPase family of proteins to the Arp2/3 complex, proteins of the WAVE family facilitate actin remodeling. The WAVE-1 isoform is expressed at high levels in brain, where it plays a role in normal synaptic processing, and is implicated in hippocampus-dependent memory retention. We used electron microscopy to determine whether synaptic structure is modified in the hippocampus of WAVE-1 knockout mice, focusing on the neuropil of CA1 stratum radiatum. Mice lacking WAVE-1 exhibited alterations in the morphology of both axon terminals and dendritic spines; the relationship between the synaptic partners was also modified. The abnormal synaptic morphology we observed suggests that signaling through WAVE-1 plays a critical role in establishing normal synaptic architecture in the rodent hippocampus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)