SAP102 regulates synaptic AMPAR function through a CNIH-2-dependent mechanism

Mingna Liu, Rebecca Shi, Hongik Hwang, Kyung Seok Han, Man Ho Wong, Iaobai Ren, Laura D. Lewis, Emery N. Brown, Weifeng Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The postsynaptic density (PSD)-95-like, disk-large (DLG) membrane-associated guanylate kinase (PSD/DLG-MAGUK) family of proteins scaffold α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropi-onic acid receptor (AMPAR) complexes to the postsynaptic compartment and are postulated to orchestrate activity-dependent modulation of synaptic AMPAR functions. SAP102 is a key member of this family, present from early development, before PSD-95 and PSD-93, and throughout life. Here we investigate the role of SAP102 in synaptic transmission using a cell-restricted molecular replacement strategy, where SAP102 is expressed against the background of acute knockdown of endogenous PSD-95. We show that SAP102 rescues the decrease of AMPAR-mediated evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (AMPAR eEPSCs) and AMPAR miniature EPSC (AMPAR mEPSC) frequency caused by acute knockdown of PSD-95. Further analysis of the mini events revealed that PSD-95-to-SAP102 replacement but not direct manipulation of PSD-95 increases the AMPAR mEPSC decay time. SAP102-mediated rescue of AMPAR eEPSCs requires AMPAR auxiliary subunit cornichon-2, whereas cornichon-2 knockdown did not affect PSD-95-mediated regulation of AMPAR eEPSC. Combining these observations, our data elucidate that PSD-95 and SAP102 differentially influence basic synaptic properties and synaptic current kinetics potentially via different AMPAR auxiliary subunits. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Synaptic scaffold proteins postsynaptic density (PSD)-95-like, disk-large (DLG) membrane-associated guanylate kinase (PSD-MAGUKs) regulate synaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR) function. However, the functional diversity among different PSD-MAGUKs remains to be categorized. We show that distinct from PSD-95, SAP102 increase the AMPAR synaptic current decay time, and the effect of SAP102 on synaptic AMPAR function requires the AMPAR auxiliary subunit cornichon-2. Our data suggest that PSD-MAGUKs target and modulate different AMPAR complexes to exert specific experience-dependent modification of the excitatory circuit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1578-1586
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Excitatory synapse
  • Hippocampus
  • Slice culture


Dive into the research topics of 'SAP102 regulates synaptic AMPAR function through a CNIH-2-dependent mechanism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this