Kinesin Kif3b mutation reduces NMDAR subunit NR2A trafficking and causes schizophrenia-like phenotypes in mice.EMBO J 2020; 39(1):e101090EJ
The transport of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) is crucial for neuronal plasticity and synapse formation. Here, we show that KIF3B, a member of the kinesin superfamily proteins (KIFs), supports the transport of vesicles simultaneously containing NMDAR subunit 2A (NR2A) and the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) complex. Kif3b+/- neurons exhibited a reduction in dendritic levels of both NR2A and NR2B due to the impaired transport of NR2A and increased degradation of NR2B. In Kif3b+/- hippocampal slices, electrophysiological NMDAR response was found decreased and synaptic plasticity was disrupted, which corresponded to a common feature of schizophrenia (SCZ). The histological features of Kif3b+/- mouse brain also mimicked SCZ features, and Kif3b+/- mice exhibited behavioral defects in prepulse inhibition (PPI), social interest, and cognitive flexibility. Indeed, a mutation of KIF3B was specifically identified in human SCZ patients, which was revealed to be functionally defective in a rescue experiment. Therefore, we propose that KIF3B transports NR2A/APC complex and that its dysfunction is responsible for SCZ pathogenesis.