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Neuropharmacology. 1999 May;38(5):635-44.

The protein kinase C alpha binding protein PICK1 interacts with short but not long form alternative splice variants of AMPA receptor subunits.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Kyoto University, Faculty of Medicine, Japan.


Here we report an interaction between AMPA receptor subunits and a single PDZ domain-containing protein called PICK1 which is known to bind protein kinase C alpha (PKC alpha). The interaction occurs within the last ten amino acid residues containing a novel PDZ binding motif (E S V/I K I) of the short C-terminal alternative splice variants of AMPA receptor subunits. No interaction occurs with the corresponding long splice variants which do not contain the E S V/I K I motif. The PDZ domain of PICK1 is required for the interaction and the mutation of a single amino acid in this region (Lys-27 to Glu) prevents interaction between PICK1 and GluR2 in the yeast two-hybrid assay. A similar mutation has been reported to prevent the binding of PICK1 to PKC alpha indicating that the same domain of PICK1 binds both PKC alpha and GluRs. Flag-tagged PICK1 is retained by a glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion of the C-terminal of GluR2 (GST-ct-GluR2; short splice variant) but not by GST-ct-GluR1 (long splice variant). Recombinant full length GluR2 is coimmunoprecipitated with flag-PICK1 using an anti-flag antibody and flag-PICK1 is coimmunoprecipitated with an N-terminal directed anti-GluR2 antibody. Transient expression of both proteins in COS cells reveals colocalization and an altered pattern of distribution for each protein from when they are expressed individually. This novel interaction provides a possible regulatory mechanism to specifically modulate distinct splice variants and may be involved in targeting the phosphorylation of short form GluRs by PKC alpha.

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