Genes to cells : devoted to molecular & cellular mechanisms

CRMP1 and CRMP2 have synergistic but distinct roles in dendritic development.

PMID 27480924


Collapsin response mediator protein 2, CRMP2, has been identified as an intracellular signaling mediator for Semaphorin 3A (Sema3A). CRMP2 plays a key role in axon guidance, dendritic morphogenesis, and cell polarization. It has been also implicated in a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the in vivo functions of CRMP2 remain unknown. We generated CRMP2 gene-deficient (crmp2(-/-) ) mice. The crmp2(-/-) mice showed irregular development of dendritic spines in cortical neurons. The density of dendritic spines was reduced in the cortical layer V pyramidal neurons of crmp2(-/-) mice as well as in those of sema3A(-/-) and crmp1(-/-) mice. However, no abnormality was found in dendritic patterning in crmp2(-/-) compared to wild-type (WT) neurons. The level of CRMP1 was increased in crmp2(-/-) , but the level of CRMP2 was not altered in crmp1(-/-) compared to WT cortical brain lysates. Dendritic spine density and branching were reduced in double-heterozygous sema3A(+/-) ;crmp2(+/-) and sema3A(+/-) ;crmp1(+/-) mice. The phenotypic defects had no genetic interaction between crmp1 and crmp2. These findings suggest that both CRMP1 and CRMP2 mediate Sema3A signaling to regulate dendritic spine maturation and patterning, but through overlapping and distinct signaling pathways.