Ganglioside GD3 regulates dendritic growth in newborn neurons in adult mouse hippocampus via modulation of mitochondrial dynamics

Fu Lei Tang, Jing Wang, Yutaka Itokazu, Robert K. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Ganglioside GD3, a major ganglioside species in neural stem cells, plays a crucial role in maintenance of the self-renewal capacity of these cells. However, its bioactivity in postnatally differentiated neurons in the neurogenic regions of adult brains has not been elucidated. Here, we describe for the first time that deletion of GD3 not only impairs neurotrophin-induced stem cell proliferation, but also alters the dendritic structure as well as the number of synapses of nascent neurons in the dentate gyrus of adult brain. When examining the behavioral phenotypes, GD3 synthase-knockout (GD3S-KO) mice displayed impairment in hippocampus-dependent memory function. To further gain insight into its cellular function, we examined GD3-binding partners from mouse brain extract using a GD3-specific monoclonal antibody, R24, followed by LC-MS/MS analysis and identified a mitochondrial fission protein, the dynamin-related protein-1 (Drp1), as a novel GD3-binding protein. Biochemical and imaging analyses revealed mitochondrial fragmentation in GD3-depleted dentate gyrus neurons, suggesting that GD3 is essential for the mitochondrial Drp1 turnover that is required for efficient mitochondrial fission. These results suggest that GD3 is required for proper dendritic and spine maturation of newborn neurons in adult brain through the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-833
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • adult neurogenesis
  • dynamin-related protein 1
  • ganglioside GD3
  • mitochondrial dynamics
  • neuronal morphogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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