CaMKII activation triggers persistent formation and segregation of postsynaptic liquid phase
. 2020-11-26; :
AbstractTransient information input to brain leads to persistent changes in synaptic circuit, thereby forming memory engrams. Synapse undergoes coordinated functional and structural changes during this process but how such changes are achieved by its component molecules still largely remain enigmatic. We found that activated CaMKII, the central player of synaptic plasticity, undergoes liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) with NMDAR subunit GluN2B. Due to CaMKII autophosphorylation, the condensate stably persists even after Ca2+ is removed. The selective binding of activated CaMKII with GluN2B co-segregates AMPAR/neuroligin (NLGN) into a phase-in-phase assembly. Because postsynaptic NLGN clusters presynaptic neurexin and other active zone proteins thereby increasing the release probability of synaptic vesicles, this ensures efficient synaptic transmission. In this way, Ca2+-induced and persistent formation of LLPS by CaMKII serves as molecular basis of memory by functioning as an activity-dependent crosslinker for postsynaptic proteins and segregating trans-synaptic nanocolumns.