PSD-95 is an abundant postsynaptic density (PSD) protein involved in the formation and regulation of excitatory synapses and dendritic spines, but the underlying mechanisms are not comprehensively understood. Here we report a novel PSD-95-interacting protein Preso that regulates spine morphogenesis. Preso is mainly expressed in the brain and contains WW (domain with two conserved Trp residues), PDZ (PSD-95/Dlg/ZO-1), FERM (4.1, ezrin, radixin, and moesin), and C-terminal PDZ-binding domains. These domains associate with actin filaments, the Rac1/Cdc42 guanine nucleotide exchange factor βPix, phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate, and the postsynaptic scaffolding protein PSD-95, respectively. Preso overexpression increases the density of dendritic spines in a manner requiring WW, PDZ, FERM, and PDZ-binding domains. Conversely, knockdown or dominant-negative inhibition of Preso decreases spine density, excitatory synaptic transmission, and the spine level of filamentous actin. These results suggest that Preso positively regulates spine density through its interaction with the synaptic plasma membrane, actin filaments, PSD-95, and the βPix-based Rac1 signaling pathway.
ASJC Scopus subject areas