Research findings from the lab of Erik Dent, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, have been published in a recent article titled “Transport of a kinesis-cargo pair along microtubules into dendritic spines undergoing synaptic plasticity”, Nature Communications, 7, 12741. (Link)
Synaptic plasticity often involves changes in the structure and composition of dendritic spines.
We present evidence for microtubule-based targeting of a specific motor-cargo pair directly into hippocampal dendritic spines in an activity-dependent fashion, resulting in targeted exocytosis in individual spines.
These findings suggest a mechanism for targeting dendritic cargo directly into specific spines during synaptic plasticity and indicate that microtubule-bound kinesins prevent unregulated fusion by sequestering vesicular cargo to microtubules.