Rap2 and TNIK control Plexin-dependent synaptic tiling in C. elegans [article]

Xi Chen, Akihiro CE Shibata, Ardalan Hendi, Mizuki Kurashina, Ethan Fortes, Nicholas L Weilinger, Brian MacVicar, Hideji Murakoshi, Kota Mizumoto
2017 bioRxiv   pre-print
During development, neurons form synapses with their fate-determined targets. While we begin to elucidate the mechanisms by which extracellular ligand-receptor interactions enhance synapse specificity by inhibiting synaptogenesis, our knowledge about their intracellular mechanisms remains limited. Here we show that Rap2 GTPase (rap-2) and its effector, TNIK (mig-15), act downstream of Plexin (plx-1) to restrict presynaptic assembly and to form tiled synaptic innervation in C. elegans. Both
more » ... itutively GTP- and GDP-forms of rap-2 mutants exhibit synaptic tiling defects as plx-1 mutants, suggesting that cycling of the RAP-2 nucleotide state is critical for synapse inhibition. Consistently, RAP-2 activity is locally suppressed by PLX-1. Excessive ectopic synapse formation in mig-15 mutants causes a severe synaptic tiling defect. Conversely, overexpression of mig-15 strongly inhibited synapse formation, suggesting that mig-15 is a negative regulator of synapse formation. These results reveal that subcellular regulation of small GTPase activity by Plexin shapes proper synapse patterning in vivo.
doi:10.1101/238352 fatcat:nwqy6xwhvvf57jrmjxawjv3adi