Nerve cell connections, formed in the developing brain of mammals, undergo a wellprogrammed process of maturation with changes in their molecular composition over time. The major structural element at the post-synaptic specialization is the actin cytoskeleton, which is composed of different populations of functionally distinct actin filaments. Previous studies, using ultrastructural and light imaging techniques have established the presence of different actin filament populations at the post-synaptic site. However, it remains unknown, how these different actin filament populations are defined and how their molecular composition changes over time. In the present study, we have characterized changes in a core component of actin filaments, the tropomyosin (Tpm) family of actin-associated proteins from embryonal stage to the adult stage. Using biochemical fractionation of mouse brain tissue, we identified the tropomyosin Tpm4.2 as the major post-synaptic Tpm. Furthermore, we found age-related differences in the composition of Tpms at the post-synaptic compartment. Our findings will help to guide future studies that aim to define the functional properties of actin filaments at different developmental stages in the mammalian brain.
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- Actin cytoskeleton
- Brain development
- Postsynaptic compartment