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The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Organization of the Arp2/3 complex in hippocampal spines.


PMID 18509026

Abstract

Changes in the morphology of a dendritic spine require remodeling of its actin-based cytoskeleton. Biochemical mechanisms underlying actin remodeling have been studied extensively, but little is known about the physical organization of the actin-binding proteins that mediate remodeling in spines. Long-term potentiation-inducing stimuli trigger expansion of the spine head, suggesting local extension and branching of actin filaments. Because filament branching requires the Arp2/3 complex, we used quantitative immunoelectron microscopy to elucidate the organization of ARPC-2 (Arp2/3 complex subunit 2), an essential component of the complex. Our data from CA1 hippocampus indicate that Arp2/3 concentrates within spines in a previously unrecognized torroidal domain, apparently specialized to mediate actin filament branching.