Control of excitatory synaptic transmission by C-terminal Src kinase


The induction of long-term potentiation at CA3-CA1 synapses is caused by an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent accumulation of intracellular Ca2+, followed by Src family kinase activation and a positive feedback enhancement of NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Nevertheless, the amplitude of baseline transmission remains remarkably constant even though low frequency stimulation is also associated with an NMDAR-dependent influx of Ca2+ into dendritic spines. We show here that an interaction between C-terminal Src kinase (Csk) and NMDARs controls the Src-dependent regulation of NMDAR activity. Csk associates with the NMDAR signaling complex in the adult brain, inhibiting the Src-dependent potentiation of NMDARs in CA1 neurons and attenuating the Src-dependent induction of long-term potentiation. Csk associates directly with Src-phosphorylated NR2 subunits in vitro. An inhibitory antibody for Csk disrupts this physical association, potentiates NMDAR mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents, and induces long-term potentiation at CA3-CA1 synapses. Thus, Csk serves to maintain the constancy of baseline excitatory synaptic transmission by inhibiting Src kinase-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. © 2008 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Biological Chemistry