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Neuron. 2008 Mar 27;57(6):872-82. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.01.028.

An essential role for PICK1 in NMDA receptor-dependent bidirectional synaptic plasticity.

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  • 1Developmental Synaptic Plasticity Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, 35 Convent Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


PICK1 is a calcium-sensing, PDZ domain-containing protein that interacts with GluR2 and GluR3 AMPA receptor (AMPAR) subunits and regulates their trafficking. Although PICK1 has been principally implicated in long-term depression (LTD), PICK1 overexpression in CA1 pyramidal neurons causes a CaMK- and PKC-dependent potentiation of AMPAR-mediated transmission and an increase in synaptic GluR2-lacking AMPARs, mechanisms associated with NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP). Here, we directly tested whether PICK1 participates in both hippocampal NMDAR-dependent LTP and LTD. We show that the PICK1 potentiation of AMPAR-mediated transmission is NMDAR dependent and fully occludes LTP. Conversely, blockade of PICK1 PDZ interactions or lack of PICK1 prevents LTP. These observations demonstrate an important role for PICK1 in LTP. In addition, deletion of PICK1 or blockade of PICK1 PDZ binding prevented NMDAR-dependent LTD. Thus, PICK1 plays a critical role in bidirectional NMDAR-dependent long-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

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