Fyn nanoclustering requires switching to an open conformation and is enhanced by FTLD-Tau biomolecular condensates
Mol Psychiatry. 2022-10-18; 28(2): 946-962
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Fyn is a Src kinase that controls critical signalling cascades and has been implicated in learning and memory. Postsynaptic enrichment of Fyn underpins synaptotoxicity in dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with Tau pathology (FTLD-Tau). The FLTD P301L mutant Tau is associated with a higher propensity to undergo liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) and form biomolecular condensates. Expression of P301L mutant Tau promotes aberrant trapping of Fyn in nanoclusters within hippocampal dendrites by an unknown mechanism. Here, we used single-particle tracking photoactivated localisation microscopy to demonstrate that the opening of Fyn into its primed conformation promotes its nanoclustering in dendrites leading to increased Fyn/ERK/S6 downstream signalling. Preventing the auto-inhibitory closed conformation of Fyn through phospho-inhibition or through perturbation of its SH3 domain increased Fyn’s nanoscale trapping, whereas inhibition of the catalytic domain had no impact. By combining pharmacological and genetic approaches, we demonstrate that P301L Tau enhanced both Fyn nanoclustering and Fyn/ERK/S6 signalling via its ability to form biomolecular condensates. Together, our findings demonstrate that Fyn alternates between a closed and an open conformation, the latter being enzymatically active and clustered. Furthermore, pathogenic immobilisation of Fyn relies on the ability of P301L Tau to form biomolecular condensates, thus highlighting the critical importance of LLPS in controlling nanoclustering and downstream intracellular signalling events.