UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cell Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Adaptor Protein Complex 2; Analysis of Variance; Animals; Cells, Cultured; Cerebral Cortex; Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 5; Embryo, Mammalian; Enzyme Inhibitors; Female; Humans; Indoles; Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins; Membrane Proteins; Neurons; Phosphorylation; Pregnancy; Rats; Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate; SH2 Domain-Containing Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases; Sulfonamides; Synaptosomes; Transfection; Tyrosine


Cell Biology | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


NMDA receptors (NMDARs) are a major class of ionotropic glutamate receptors that can undergo activity-dependent changes in surface expression. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis is a mechanism by which the surface expression of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors is regulated. The C terminus of the NMDA receptor subunit NR2B contains the internalization motif YEKL, which is the binding site for the clathrin adaptor AP-2. The tyrosine (Y1472) within the YEKL motif is phosphorylated by the Src family of kinases and this phosphorylation inhibits the binding of AP-2 and promotes surface expression of NMDA receptors. Cdk5 is a serine/threonine kinase that has been implicated in synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. Here we demonstrate that inhibition of Cdk5 results in increased phosphorylation of Y1472 NR2B at synapses and decreased binding of NR2B to beta2-adaptin, a subunit of AP-2, thus blocking the activity-dependent endocytosis of NMDA receptors. Furthermore, we show that inhibition of Cdk5 increases the binding of Src to postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95), and that expression of PSD-95 facilitates the phosphorylation of Y1472 NR2B by Src. Together, these results suggest a model in which inhibition of Cdk5 increases the binding of Src to PSD-95 and the phosphorylation of Y1472 NR2B by Src, which results in decreased binding of NR2B to AP-2, and NR2B/NMDAR endocytosis. This study provides a novel molecular mechanism for the regulation of the surface expression of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors and gives insight into the Cdk5-dependent regulation of synaptic plasticity.

DOI of Published Version



J Neurosci. 2008 Jan 9;28(2):415-24. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID