The surface expression and localization of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) at dendritic spines are tightly controlled to regulate synaptic transmission. Here we show that de novo exocytosis of the GluR2 AMPAR subunit occurs at the dendritic shaft and that new AMPARs diffuse into spines by lateral diffusion in the membrane. However, membrane topology restricts this lateral diffusion. We therefore investigated which mechanisms recruit AMPARs to spines from the shaft and demonstrated that inhibition of dynamin GTPase activity reduced lateral diffusion of membrane-anchored green fluorescent protein and super-ecliptic pHluorin (SEP)-GluR2 into spines. In addition, the activation of synaptic N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors enhanced lateral diffusion of SEP-GluR2 and increased the number of endogenous AMPARs in spines. The NMDA-invoked effects were prevented by dynamin inhibition, suggesting that activity-dependent dynamin-mediated endocytosis within spines generates a net inward membrane drift that overrides lateral diffusion barriers to enhance membrane protein delivery into spines. These results provide a novel mechanistic explanation of how AMPARs and other membrane proteins are recruited to spines by synaptic activity.
Jaskolski, F., Bayo-Martin, B., Jane, D. E., & Henley, J. M. (2009). Dynamin-dependent membrane drift recruits AMPA receptors to dendritic spines. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 284(18), 12491 - 12503. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M808401200