Faculty Publications

Publication Date



Cell Biology


Immature dendrites extend many actin-rich filopodial structures that can be replaced by synapse-containing dendritic spines as the neuron matures. The large GTPase dynamin-3 (Dyn3) is a component of the postsynapse in hippocampal neurons but its function is undefined. Here, we demonstrate that a specific Dyn3 variant (Dyn3baa) promotes the formation of immature dendritic filopodia in cultured neurons. This effect is dependent upon Dyn3 GTPase activity and a direct interaction with the F-actin-binding protein cortactin. Consistent with these findings, Dyn3baa binds to cortactin with a 200% higher affinity than Dyn3aaa, a near identical isoform that does not induce dendritic filopodia when expressed in cultured neurons. Finally, levels of Dyn3baa-encoding mRNA are tightly regulated during neuronal maturation and are markedly upregulated during synaptogenesis. Together, these findings provide the first evidence that an enhanced interaction between a specific Dyn3 splice variant and cortactin modulate actin-membrane dynamics in developing neurons to regulate the morphogenesis of dendritic spines.

Supplementary material available online at http://jcs.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/118/6/1279/DC1

Document Type

Published Version


This article is the publisher-created version, also considered to be the final version or the version of record. It includes value-added elements provided by the publisher, such as copy editing, layout changes, and branding consistent with the rest of the publication.

Original Citation

Noah W. Gray, Anne E. Krutchten, Jing Chen, & Mark A. McNiven
A dynamin-3 spliced variant modulates the actin/cortactin-dependent morphogenesis of dendritic spines.
Journal of Cell Science, 2005, volume 118, issue 6, pages 1279-1290

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