Tricornered kinase regulates synapse development by regulating the levels of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein

Rajalaxmi Natarajan, Kara Barber, Amanda Buckley, Phillip Cho, Anuoluwapo Egbejimi, Yogesh P. Wairkar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    Precise regulation of synapses during development is essential to ensure accurate neural connectivity and function of nervous system. Many signaling pathways, including the mTOR (mechanical Target of Rapamycin) pathway operate in neurons to maintain genetically determined number of synapses during development. mTOR, a kinase, is shared between two functionally distinct multi-protein complexes- mTORC1 and mTORC2, that act downstream of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC). We and others have suggested an important role for TSC in synapse development at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) synapses. In addition, our data suggested that the regulation of the NMJ synapse numbers in Drosophila largely depends on signaling via mTORC2. In the present study, we further this observation by identifying Tricornered (Trc) kinase, a serine/threonine kinase as a likely mediator of TSC signaling. trc genetically interacts with Tsc2 to regulate the number of synapses. In addition, Tsc2 and trc mutants exhibit a dramatic reduction in synaptic levels of WASP, an important regulator of actin polymerization. We show that Trc regulates the WASP levels largely, by regulating the transcription of WASP. Finally, we show that overexpression of WASP (Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein) in trc mutants can suppress the increase in the number of synapses observed in trc mutants, suggesting that WASP regulates synapses downstream of Trc. Thus, our data provide a novel insight into how Trc may regulate the genetic program that controls the number of synapses during development.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numbere0138188
    JournalPloS one
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - Sep 22 2015

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General


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