Dr. Tarn, Woan-Yuh 譚婉玉 博士

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DDX3 modulates dendrite outgrowth and dendritic spine formation via PKA–Rac1 signaling in primary hippocampal neurons.

The Journal of Neuroscience, Sep 21, 2016

The RNA helicase DDX3 is essential for efficient expression of Rac1, which regulates actin dynamics in a range of cellular processes including neuronal morphogenesis. Here we demonstrate that DDX3 is important for dendritic spine formation. DDX3 knockdown decreased the population of mature mushroom-shaped dendritic spines, but increased the population of immature filopodia-shaped as well as irregular dendritic spines. Rac1 overexpression rescued dendritic spine density but not spine maturation in DDX3 knockdown neurons. The latter particularly required activation of PKA, a potential activator of Rac1 in neurons, suggesting that DDX3-activated PKA and Rac1 expression sequentially modulates dendritic spine formation.

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