Regulation of Fasciclin II and synaptic terminal development by the splicing factor Beag

Erin S. Beck, Gabriel Gasque, Wendy L. Imlach, Wei Wei Jiao, Ben Jiwon Choi, Pao Shu Wu, Matthew L. Kraushar, Brian D. McCabe

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Pre-mRNA alternative splicingisanimportantmechanism for the generationofsynaptic protein diversity, but few factorsgoverning this process have been identified. From a screen for Drosophila mutants with aberrant synaptic development, we identified beag, a mutant with fewer synaptic boutons and decreased neurotransmitter release. Beag encodes a spliceosomal protein similar to splicing factors in humans and Caenorhabditis elegans. We find that both beag mutants and mutants of an interacting gene dsmu1 have changes in the synaptic levels of specific splice isoforms of Fasciclin II (FasII), the Drosophila ortholog of neural cell adhesion molecule. We show that restorationofone splice isoformofFasII can rescue synaptic morphology inbeagmutants while expressionofotherisoforms cannot. We further demonstrate that this FasII isoform has unique functions in synaptic development independent of transsynaptic adhesion. beag and dsmu1 mutants demonstrate an essential role for these previously uncharacterized splicing factors in the regulation of synapse development and function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7058-7073
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2012
Externally publishedYes

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