Menin (MEN1) is a critical modulator of tissue development and maintenance. As such, MEN1 mutations are associated with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) syndrome. Although menin is abundantly expressed in the nervous system, little is known with regard to its function in the adult brain. Here, we demonstrate that neuron-specific deletion of Men1 (CcKO) affects dendritic branching and spine formation, resulting in defects in synaptic function, learning, and memory. Furthermore, we find that menin binds to the p35 promoter region to facilitate p35 transcription. As a primary Cdk5 activator, p35 is expressed mainly in neurons and is critical for brain development and synaptic plasticity. Restoration of p35 expression in the hippocampus and cortex of Men1 CcKO mice rescues synaptic and cognitive deficits associated with Men1 deletion. These results reveal a critical role for menin in synaptic and cognitive function by modulating the p35-Cdk5 pathway. The biological function of menin in neurons remains unclear. Zhuang et al. report that menin regulates neuronal dendritic branching, spine density, and synaptic plasticity. Menin binds to the p35 promoter to enhance p35 transcription and CDK5 activity. The study demonstrates a role for menin in synaptic and cognitive function.
- synaptic function
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)