Dendritic spines are the postsynaptic compartment of a neuronal synapse and are critical for synaptic connectivity and plasticity. A developmental precursor to dendritic spines, dendritic filopodia (DF), facilitate synapse formation by sampling the environment for suitable axon partners during neurodevelopment and learning. Despite the significance of the actin cytoskeleton in driving these dynamic protrusions, the actin elongation factors involved are not well characterized. We identified the Ena/VASP protein EVL as uniquely required for the morphogenesis and dynamics of DF. Using a combination of genetic and optogenetic manipulations, we demonstrated that EVL promotes protrusive motility through membrane-direct actin polymerization at DF tips. EVL forms a complex at nascent protrusions and DF tips with MIM/MTSS1, an I-BAR protein important for the initiation of DF. We proposed a model in which EVL cooperates with MIM to coalesce and elongate branched actin filaments, establishing the dynamic lamellipodia-like architecture of DF.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||The Journal of cell biology|
|State||Published - May 1 2023|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology