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Neuron. 2002 Nov 14;36(4):661-74.

Clathrin adaptor AP2 and NSF interact with overlapping sites of GluR2 and play distinct roles in AMPA receptor trafficking and hippocampal LTD.

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Picower Center for Learning and Memory, RIKEN-MIT Neuroscience Research Center, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Proteins that bind to the cytoplasmic tails of AMPA receptors control receptor trafficking and thus the strength of postsynaptic responses. Here we show that AP2, a clathrin adaptor complex important for endocytosis, associates with a region of GluR2 that overlaps the NSF binding site. Peptides used previously to interfere with NSF binding also antagonize GluR2-AP2 interaction. Using GluR2 mutants and peptide variants that dissociate NSF and AP2 interaction, we find that AP2 is involved specifically in NMDA receptor-induced (but not ligand-dependent) internalization of AMPA receptors, and is essential for hippocampal long-term depression (LTD). NSF function, on the other hand, is needed to maintain synaptic AMPA receptor responses, but is not directly required for NMDA receptor-mediated internalization and LTD.

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