Rab43 GTPase directs postsynaptic trafficking and neuron-specific sorting of G protein–coupled receptors

Zhe Wei, Xin Xu, Yinquan Fang, Mostafa Khater, Sean X. Naughton, Gang Hu, Alvin V. Terry, Guangyu Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) are important modulators of synaptic functions. A fundamental but poorly addressed question in neurobiology is how targeted GPCR trafficking is achieved. Rab GTPases are the master regulators of vesicle-mediated membrane trafficking, but their functions in the synaptic presentation of newly synthesized GPCRs are virtually unknown. Here, we investigate the role of Rab43, via dominant-negative inhibition and CRISPR–Cas9–mediated KO, in the export trafficking of α2-adrenergic receptor (α2-AR) and muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) in primary neurons and cells. We demonstrate that Rab43 differentially regulates the overall surface expression of endogenous α2-AR and mAChR, as well as their signaling, in primary neurons. In parallel, Rab43 exerts distinct effects on the dendritic and postsynaptic transport of specific α2B-AR and M3 mAChR subtypes. More interestingly, the selective actions of Rab43 toward α2B-AR and M3 mAChR are neuronal cell specific and dictated by direct interaction. These data reveal novel, neuron-specific functions for Rab43 in the dendritic and postsynaptic targeting and sorting of GPCRs and imply multiple forward delivery routes for different GPCRs in neurons. Overall, this study provides important insights into regulatory mechanisms of GPCR anterograde traffic to the functional destination in neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100517
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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