ADF/cofilin-mediated actin dynamics regulate AMPA receptor trafficking during synaptic plasticity

Jiaping Gu, Chi Wai Lee, Yanjie Fan, Daniel Komlos, Xin Tang, Chicheng Sun, Kuai Yu, H. Criss Hartzell, Gong Chen, James R. Bamburg, James Q. Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

262 Scopus citations


Dendritic spines undergo actin-based growth and shrinkage during synaptic plasticity, in which the actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin family of actin-associated proteins are important. Elevated ADF/cofilin activities often lead to reduced spine size and immature spine morphology but can also enhance synaptic potentiation in some cases. Thus, ADF/cofilin may have distinct effects on postsynaptic structure and function. We found that ADF/cofilin-mediated actin dynamics regulated AMPA receptor (AMPAR) trafficking during synaptic potentiation, which was distinct from actin's structural role in spine morphology. Specifically, elevated ADF/cofilin activity markedly enhanced surface addition of AMPARs after chemically induced long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas inhibition of ADF/cofilin abolished AMPAR addition. We found that chemically induced LTP elicited a temporal sequence of ADF/cofilin dephosphorylation and phosphorylation that underlies AMPAR trafficking and spine enlargement. These findings suggest that temporally regulated ADF/cofilin activities function in postsynaptic modifications of receptor number and spine size during synaptic plasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1208-1215
Number of pages8
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'ADF/cofilin-mediated actin dynamics regulate AMPA receptor trafficking during synaptic plasticity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this