Scientific reports

Liprin-α-1 is a novel component of the murine neuromuscular junction and is involved in the organization of the postsynaptic machinery.

PMID 28831123


Neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) are specialized synapses that connect motor neurons to skeletal muscle fibers and orchestrate proper signal transmission from the nervous system to muscles. The efficient formation and maintenance of the postsynaptic machinery that contains acetylcholine receptors (AChR) are indispensable for proper NMJ function. Abnormalities in the organization of synaptic components often cause severe neuromuscular disorders, such as muscular dystrophy. The dystrophin-associated glycoprotein complex (DGC) was shown to play an important role in NMJ development. We recently identified liprin-α-1 as a novel binding partner for one of the cytoplasmic DGC components, α-dystrobrevin-1. In the present study, we performed a detailed analysis of localization and function of liprin-α-1 at the murine NMJ. We showed that liprin-α-1 localizes to both pre- and postsynaptic compartments at the NMJ, and its synaptic enrichment depends on the presence of the nerve. Using cultured muscle cells, we found that liprin-α-1 plays an important role in AChR clustering and the organization of cortical microtubules. Our studies provide novel insights into the function of liprin-α-1 at vertebrate neuromuscular synapses.