The presynaptic active zone mediates synaptic vesicle exocytosis, and modulation of its molecular composition is important for many types of synaptic plasticity. Here, we identify synaptic scaffold protein liprin-α2 as a key organizer in this process. We show that liprin-α2 levels were regulated by synaptic activity and the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Furthermore, liprin-α2 organized presynaptic ultrastructure and controlled synaptic output by regulating synaptic vesicle pool size. The presence of liprin-α2 at presynaptic sites did not depend on other active zone scaffolding proteins but was critical for recruitment of several components of the release machinery, including RIM1 and CASK. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching showed that depletion of liprin-α2 resulted in reduced turnover of RIM1 and CASK at presynaptic terminals, suggesting that liprin-α2 promotes dynamic scaffolding for molecular complexes that facilitate synaptic vesicle release. Therefore, liprin-α2 plays an important role in maintaining active zone dynamics to modulate synaptic efficacy in response to changes in network activity.

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Journal The Journal of Cell Biology
Spangler, S.A, Schmitz, S.K, Kevenaar, J.T, de Graaff, E, H. de Wit (Heidi), Demmers, J.A.A, … Hoogenraad, C.C. (2013). Liprin-α2 promotes the presynaptic recruitment and turnover of RIM1/CASK to facilitate synaptic transmission. The Journal of Cell Biology, 201(6), 915–928. doi:10.1083/jcb.201301011