The modulation of AMPA receptor (AMPAR) content at synapses is thought to be an underlying molecular mechanism of memory and learning. AMPAR content at synapses is highly plastic and is regulated by numerous AMPAR accessory transmembrane proteins such as TARPs, cornichons, and CKAMPs. SynDIG (synapse differentiation-induced gene) defines a family of four genes (SynDIG1-4) expressed in distinct and overlapping patterns in the brain. SynDIG1 was previously identified as a novel transmembrane AMPAR-associated protein that regulates synaptic strength. The related protein SynDIG4 [also known as Prrt1 (proline-rich transmembrane protein 1)] has recently been identified as a component of AMPAR complexes. In this study, we show that SynDIG1 and SynDIG4 have distinct yet overlapping patterns of expression in the central nervous system, with SynDIG4 having especially prominent expression in the hippocampus and particularly within CA1. In contrast to SynDIG1 and other traditional AMPAR auxiliary subunits, SynDIG4 is de-enriched at the postsynaptic density and colocalizes with extrasynaptic GluA1 puncta in primary dissociated neuron culture. These results indicate that, although SynDIG4 shares sequence similarity with SynDIG1, it might act through a unique mechanism as an auxiliary factor for extrasynaptic GluA1-containing AMPARs.
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