Palmitoylation is the most common post-translational lipid modification in the brain. However, the role of palmitoylation and palmitoylating enzymes in the nervous system remains elusive. One of these enzymes, Zdhhc5, has previously been shown to regulate synapse plasticity. Here, we report that Zdhhc5 is also essential for the formation of excitatory, but not inhibitory synapses both in vitro and in vivo. We demonstrate in vitro that this is dependent on Zdhhc5s enzymatic activity, its localization at the plasma membrane, and its C-terminal domain which has been shown to be truncated in a patient with schizophrenia. Loss of Zdhhc5 in mice results in a decrease in the density of excitatory hippocampal synapses accompanied by alterations in membrane capacitance and synaptic currents, consistent with an overall decrease in spine number and silent synapses. These findings reveal an important role for Zdhhc5 in the formation and/or maintenance of excitatory synapses.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience