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Science 324 (5929): 904-909

Copyright © 2009 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Input-Specific Spine Entry of Soma-Derived Vesl-1S Protein Conforms to Synaptic Tagging

Daisuke Okada,* Fumiko Ozawa, Kaoru Inokuchi*

Abstract: Late-phase synaptic plasticity depends on the synthesis of new proteins that must function only in the activated synapses. The synaptic tag hypothesis requires input-specific functioning of these proteins after undirected transport. Confirmation of this hypothesis requires specification of a biochemical tagging activity and an example protein that behaves as the hypothesis predicts. We found that in rat neurons, soma-derived Vesl-1S (Homer-1a) protein, a late-phase plasticity-related synaptic protein, prevailed in every dendrite and did not enter spines. N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation triggered input-specific spine entry of Vesl-1S proteins, which met many criteria for synaptic tagging. These results suggest that Vesl-1S supports the hypothesis and that the activity-dependent regulation of spine entry functions as a synaptic tag.

Mitsubishi Kagaku Institute of Life Sciences (MITILS), 11 Minamiooya, Machida, Tokyo 194-8511, Japan, and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), 4-1-8 Honcho, Kawaguchi 332-0012, Japan.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: kaoru{at} (K.I.); dada{at} (D.O.)

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