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PNAS 101 (36): 13341-13345

Copyright © 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences.

From The Cover


Control of dendrite arborization by an Ig family member, dendrite arborization and synapse maturation 1 (Dasm1)

Song-Hai Shi, Daniel N. Cox, Denan Wang, Lily Yeh Jan, and Yuh-Nung Jan *

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, University of California, 1550 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA 94143-0725

Contributed by Yuh-Nung Jan, July 24, 2004

Abstract: Development of both dendrites and axons is important for the formation of neuronal circuits, because dendrites receive information and the axon is responsible for sending signals. In the past decade, extensive studies have revealed many molecules underlying axonal outgrowth and pathfinding. In contrast, much less is known about the molecular mechanisms that control dendrite development. Here we report the identification of an evolutionarily conserved Ig superfamily member, dendrite arborization and synapse maturation 1 (Dasm1), which plays a critical role in dendrite development. Dasm1 contains five Ig domains and two fibronectin III domains in the extracellular N terminus, a single transmembrane domain, and an intracellular C-terminal tail with a type I PDZ domain binding motif at the end. It is highly expressed in the brain and localized at the dendrites. Suppression of Dasm1 expression in hippocampal neurons via RNA interference or expression of Dasm1 without its cytoplasmic tail specifically impairs dendrite, but not axon, outgrowth. Together with its orthologues in other species, Dasm1 defines a family of molecules likely involved specifically in dendrite arborization.

Abbreviations: Dasm1, dendrite arborization and synapse maturation 1; IgSF, Ig super-family; EGFP, enhanced GFP; RNAi, RNA interference.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: ynjan{at}

© 2004 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA

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