Constrained Diffusion in the Dendritic Endoplasmic Reticulum and Consequences for Early Secretory Receptor Trafficking and Postsynaptic Function
The proper modification and trafficking of plasma membrane proteins are essential for normal neuronal function, such as dendrite morphogenesis, spine formation and synaptic plasticity. The secretory organelles including endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus are critical for the trafficking of these molecules as shown in fibroblasts. Although these secretory organelles have been observed in neurons including dendritic branches, their spatial organization and function in protein trafficking, neuronal development and plasticity are not clear yet. Here, I used photobleaching and photoactivation approaches combined with electron microscopy to show that although rapidly diffusing within the continuous network of the somato-dendritic ER, membrane proteins such as nascent AMPA receptors are confined by ER spatial complexity. The spatial range of ER membrane protein mobility becomes progressively confined over neuronal development and is rapidly restricted by synaptic activity. Thus, constrained lateral mobility within the ER provides a novel mechanism for compartmentalized trafficking of nascent receptors throughout dendrites. I also identified an ER protein as a novel microtubule-associated protein regulating dendritic ER spatial complexity, neuronal dendrite elongation and spine formation. Together, these results describe the spatial organization of dendritic ER and its role in regulating membrane protein trafficking, neuronal morphogenesis and postsynaptic functions.
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