RPS23RG1 Is Required for Synaptic Integrity and Rescues Alzheimer's Disease–Associated Cognitive Deficits

Dongdong Zhao, Jian Meng, Yingjun Zhao, Yuanhui Huo, Yan Liu, Naizhen Zheng, Muxian Zhang, Yue Gao, Zhicai Chen, Hao Sun, Xiangyu Wang, C. Jing, Tongmei Zhang, Xian Zhang, Hong Luo, Xin Wang, Jie Zhang, Fa rong Liu, Yanfang Li, Guojun BuLei Wen, Timothy Y. Huang, H. Xu, Yun wu Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Although synaptic impairment is a prerequisite to cognitive deficiencies in Alzheimer's disease (AD), mechanisms underlying the dysregulation of essential synaptic scaffolding components and their integrity remain elusive. RPS23RG1 is a newly identified protein implicated in AD. However, the physiological function of RPS23RG1 has yet to be determined. Methods: We investigated the role of RPS23RG1 in maintaining synaptic structure and function in cell cultures and in Rps23rg1 knockout mice and determined whether targeting RPS23RG1-mediated pathways has therapeutic potential in APP/PS1 AD model mice. Results: Deletion of the Rps23rg1 gene resulted in severe memory deficits and impairment of postsynaptic structure and function, with marked reductions in postsynaptic densities-93 and -95 (PSD-93 and PSD-95) levels. RPS23RG1 interacted with PSD-93/PSD-95 through its intracellular domain, consequently sequestering PSD-93/PSD-95 from murine double minute 2–mediated ubiquitination and degradation, thereby maintaining synaptic function. Restoration of PSD-93/PS-D95 levels reversed synaptic and memory deficits in Rps23rg1 knockout mice. We further observed attenuated RPS23RG1 expression in human AD, which positively correlated with PSD-93/PSD-95 levels. Importantly, an RPS23RG1-derived peptide comprising a unique PSD-93/PSD-95 interaction motif rescued synaptic and cognitive defects in Rps23rg1 knockout and AD mouse models. Conclusions: Our results reveal a role for RPS23RG1 in maintaining synaptic integrity and function and provide a new mechanism for synaptic dysfunction in AD pathogenesis. This demonstrates that RPS23RG1-mediated pathways show good therapeutic potential in AD intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-184
Number of pages14
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • PSD-93
  • PSD-95
  • RPS23RG1
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • Ubiquitination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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