Huss A, Ramírez OA, Santibañez F, Couve A, Härtel S, Enderlein J. Proceedings of SPIE. Vol. 8590. doi: 10.1117/12.2006215

The synaptic efficacy of neurons depends on the number of neurotransmitter receptors in the plasma membrane. The availability of these receptors is controlled by their specific intracellular trafficking routes. γ-Aminobutyric acid type B receptors (GABABRs) are heteromeric proteins consisting of GABABR1 and GABABR2 subunits. These receptors are found at the plasma membrane of somatodendritic postsynaptic sites and in axons. It is unknown whether the assembly of the subunits occurs directly in the somatic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) followed by vesicular transport, or whether the assembly occurs after the separate transport of the subunits to the dendritic ER compartment. To address this question we have studied the assembly of the GABABRs in hippocampal neurons with dual-color, 3D super-resolution optical fluctuation imaging (SOFI). SOFI is a fluorescence imaging modality which yields superresolved spatial resolution, 3D-sectioning and high image contrast. We will use the SOFI images to quantify the distribution of the GABABR subunits in the plasma membrane and in the dendritic intracellular compartments. Finally, we want to apply quantitative co-localization analysis to determine the compartments in which the assembly of the GABABR subunits occurs.