A type of transmembrane receptor for glutamate, known as AMPAR, mediates most of the fast excitatory transmission in the mammalian central nervous system. Their function is regulated by the composition of their subunits, posttranslational modifications, and protein-protein interactions. Recently, several proteins that interact with AMPARs have been identified that affect their subcellular localization, synaptic stabilization, and kinetics. Using proteomic analysis, immunohistochemistry, and electrophysiology, von Engelhardt et al. (see the Perspective by Farrant and Cull-Candy) identified a protein, CKAMP44, that modulates postsynaptic AMPA receptor gating, deactivation, and desensitization.
J. von Engelhardt, V. Mack, R. Sprengel, N. Kavenstock, K. W. Li, Y. Stern-Bach, A. B. Smit, P. H. Seeburg, H. Monyer, CKAMP44: A brain-specific protein attenuating short-term synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus. Science 327, 1518–1522 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]