Professor Patricia Salinas


Personal Profile

Name: Patricia Salinas Email:
Title: Professor Tel: 020 7679 2445
Department: Cell & Developmental Biology Fax:
Position: Professor of Cellular Neurobiology Address: Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Laboratory for Molecular and Cellular Biology (LMCB), London, WC1E 6BT
Research Domain: Basic Life Sciences, Neuroscience Web Page: Personal Web Page


Research Description

My laboratory has been studying how neuronal networks are generated during development and the mechanisms involved in the complex pattern of axon guidance, dendritic arborization and synapse formation in the vertebrate nervous system. We are particularly interested in understanding the role and the mechanisms of action of Wnt proteins in the terminal remodelling of axons during the initial stages of synaptic contact and in the mechanisms by which Wnts proteins stimulate synaptic assembly. My lab has discovered that Wnt signalling modulates neuronal connectivity by regulating axon behaviour, dendrite morphogenesis and central synaptogenesis. Further work is aimed at elucidating how Wnt proteins regulate the axonal cytoskeleton in developing neurons to convert actively growing growth cones into synaptic boutons and how Wnts stimulate the assembly and maintenance of synapses. Other projects in the lab include the role of Wnt signalling in neurotransmitter release and circuit modulation in the adult brain..

Research Activities

NMDA receptors in the central nervous system

Role of cell signalling in the assembly and function of synaptic connections in the vertebrate nervous system

Education Description

UCL Collaborators

Prof Alasdair Gibb

External Collaborators



    • Stamatakou E, Salinas PC (2014). Postsynaptic assembly: a role for Wnt signaling.. Dev Neurobiol, 74(8), 818 - 827. doi:10.1002/dneu.22138
    • Purro SA, Galli S, Salinas PC (2014). Dysfunction of Wnt signaling and synaptic disassembly in neurodegenerative diseases.. J Mol Cell Biol, 6(1), 75 - 80. doi:10.1093/jmcb/mjt049
    • Galli S, Lopes DM, Ammari R, Kopra J, Millar SE, Gibb A, Salinas PC (2014). Deficient Wnt signalling triggers striatal synaptic degeneration and impaired motor behaviour in adult mice. Nat.Commun., 5, 4992 - . doi:10.1038/ncomms5992


    • Dickins EM, Salinas PC (2013). Wnts in action: from synapse formation to synaptic maintenance.. Front Cell Neurosci, 7, 162 - . doi:10.3389/fncel.2013.00162
    • Hiester BG, Galati DF, Salinas PC, Jones KR (2013). Neurotrophin and Wnt signaling cooperatively regulate dendritic spine formation. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, 56, 115 - 127. doi:10.1016/j.mcn.2013.04.006
    • Stamatakou E, Marzo A, Gibb A, Salinas PC (2013). Activity-dependent spine morphogenesis: a role for the actin-capping protein Eps8.. J Neurosci, 33(6), 2661 - 2670. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0998-12.2013


    • Purro SA, Dickins EM, Salinas PC (2012). The secreted Wnt antagonist Dickkopf-1 is required for amyloid β-mediated synaptic loss.. J Neurosci, 32(10), 3492 - 3498. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4562-11.2012
    • Salinas PC (2012). Wnt signaling in the vertebrate central nervous system: from axon guidance to synaptic function.. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol, 4(2), - . doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a008003
    • Henriquez JP, Salinas PC (2012). Dual roles for Wnt signalling during the formation of the vertebrate neuromuscular junction. ACTA PHYSIOLOGICA, 204(1), 128 - 136. doi:10.1111/j.1748-1716.2011.02295.x
    • Nethe M, de Kreuk B-J, Tauriello DVF, Anthony EC, Snoek B, Stumpel T, Salinas PC, Maurice MM, Geerts D, Deelder AM, Hensbergen PJ, Hordijk PL (2012). Rac1 acts in conjunction with Nedd4 and dishevelled-1 to promote maturation of cell-cell contacts. Journal of Cell Science, 125(14), 3430 - 3442. doi:10.1242/jcs.100925


    • Ciani L, Boyle KA, Dickins E, Sahores M, Anane D, Lopes DM, Gibb AJ, Salinas PC (2011). Wnt7a signaling promotes dendritic spine growth and synaptic strength through Ca²⁺/Calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 108(26), 10732 - 10737. doi:10.1073/pnas.1018132108
    • Ciani L, Boyle K, Dickins E, Sahores M, Anane D, Lopes DM, Gibb A, SALINAS PC (2011). Wnt7a signaling promotes dendritic spine growth and synaptic strength through Ca2+/Calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA, 108(26), 10732 - 10737.
    • Budnik V, Salinas PC (2011). Wnt signaling during synaptic development and plasticity. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 21(1), 151 - 159. doi:10.1016/j.conb.2010.12.002


    • Sahores M, Gibb AJ, Salinas P (2010). Frizzled-5, a receptor for the synaptic organizer Wnt7a, regulates activity-mediated synaptogenesis.. Development, 137(13), 2215 - 2225.


    • Purro SA, Ciani L, Hoyos-Flight M, Stamatakou , E S, E S, P C (2008). Wnt regulates axon behavior through changes in microtubule growth directionality: a new role for adenomatous polyposis coli.. Journal of Neuroscience, 28(34), 8644 - 8654. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2320-08.2008
    • Henriquez JP, Webb A, Bence M, Bildsoe H, Sahores M, Hughes SM, Salinas PC (2008). Wnt signaling promotes AChR aggregation at the neuromuscular synapse in collaboration with agrin.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 105(48), 18812 - 18817. doi:10.1073/pnas.0806300105


    • Salinas PC (2005). Retrograde signalling at the synapse: a role for Wnt proteins.. Biochem Soc Trans, 33(Pt 6), 1295 - 1298. doi:10.1042/BST20051295