Editors' ChoiceNeurobiology

AMPA Receptors are Glued into Place

STKE  28 Mar 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 25, pp. tw7
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.25.tw7

What are the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity at functional synapses in the central nervous system? Hayashi et al. used tagged α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor subunits to show that new AMPA receptors are inserted into the postsynaptic membrane of glutamatergic synapses after the induction of long-term potentiation or after activity enhancement of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II), an enzyme previously shown to be involved in synaptic plasticity. Mutation experiments show that the target of CaM kinase II is not the AMPA receptor itself. Incorporation of the receptor into the membrane involves binding to a still unknown protein with a PDZ domain.

Hayashi, Y., Shi, S.-H., Esteban, J.A., Piccini, A., Poncer, J.-C., and Malinow, R. (2000) Driving AMPA receptors into synapses by LTP and CaMKII: Requirement for GluR1 and PDZ domain interaction. Science 287: 2262-2267. [Abstract] [Full Text]