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PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e41275. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041275. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Neurogranin targets calmodulin and lowers the threshold for the induction of long-term potentiation.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology, and Anatomy, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America.

Abstract

Calcium entry and the subsequent activation of CaMKII trigger synaptic plasticity in many brain regions. The induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 region of the hippocampus requires a relatively high amount of calcium-calmodulin. This requirement is usually explained, based on in vitro and theoretical studies, by the low affinity of CaMKII for calmodulin. An untested hypothesis, however, is that calmodulin is not randomly distributed within the spine and its targeting within the spine regulates LTP. We have previously shown that overexpression of neurogranin enhances synaptic strength in a calmodulin-dependent manner. Here, using post-embedding immunogold labeling, we show that calmodulin is not randomly distributed, but spatially organized in the spine. Moreover, neurogranin regulates calmodulin distribution such that its overexpression concentrates calmodulin closer to the plasma membrane, where a high level of CaMKII immunogold labeling is also found. Interestingly, the targeting of calmodulin by neurogranin results in lowering the threshold for LTP induction. These findings highlight the significance of calmodulin targeting within the spine in synaptic plasticity.

PMID:
22848456
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3405117
Free PMC Article

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