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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Zoltan Molnar.

SPECIAL SEMINAR - CELLULAR NEUROSCIENCE

Bioactive lipid signaling is a key feature initiating receptor-directed signaling cascades which influence different cellular processes such as cell proliferation, apoptosis and regulation of exocytosis. Lipid phosphate phosphatases (LPPs) dephosphorylate a variety of phosphorylated lipid substrates and are regarded as negative regulators of these signaling cascades. Recently, we have discovered a new class of proteins, which we named plasticity-related genes (PRGs), since  PRG -1 (LPR-4) is a neuron-specific synaptic molecule which regulates neuronal excitability and is upregulated after brain lesion (Brauer et al., Nature Neuroscience 2003; Trimbuch et al., Cell 2009). PRGs are integral membrane proteins that possess homology to LPPs and can be classified as part of the superfamily of lipid phosphatases/phosphotransferases (PAP2). In contrast to other member of the  PAP2  superfamily,  PRG -1 and  PRG -2 contain an additional, unique C-terminal cytoplasmic domain of around 400 amino acids. However, despite their homology,  PRG -1 and  PRG -2 display complete different expression patterns in terms of their developmental and regional distribution. While  PRG -2 is mainly expressed during embryonic development and is localized in axons,  PRG -1 is expressed in the postnatal period and is localized in the postsynaptic compartment of excitatory synapses. Accordingly, despite their homology and putative action via similar molecular mechanisms, they are involved the regulation of specific brain functions such as cortical circuit formation, neuronal homeostasis and cortical information processing in a non overlapping fashion. Our data indicates that modulation of bioactive phospholipid signaling in the brain might be a promising strategy to influence specific brain functions.