, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 141-148,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 16 Nov 2007

Gephyrin Selective Intrabodies as a New Strategy for Studying Inhibitory Receptor Clustering


The microtubule-binding protein gephyrin is known to play a pivotal role in targeting and clustering postsynaptic inhibitory receptors. Here, the Intracellular Antibodies Capture Technology (IATC) was used to select two single-chain antibody fragments or intrabodies, which, fused to nuclear localization signals (NLS), were able to efficiently and selectively remove gephyrin from glycine receptor (GlyR) clusters. Co-transfection of NLS-tagged individual intrabodies with gephyrin-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in HEK 293 cells revealed a partial relocalization of gephyrin aggregates onto the nucleus or in the perinuclear area. When expressed in cultured neurons, these intrabodies caused a significant reduction in the number of immunoreactive GlyR clusters, which was associated with a decrease in the peak amplitude of glycine-evoked whole cell currents as assessed with electrophysiological experiments. Hampering protein function at a posttranslational level may represent an attractive alternative for interfering with gephyrin function in a more spatially localized manner.

Paola Zacchi, Elena Dreosti, and Michela Visintin contributed equally to this work.