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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Apr 20;101(16):6237-42. Epub 2004 Apr 6.

Unique domain anchoring of Src to synaptic NMDA receptors via the mitochondrial protein NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2.

Author information

  • 1Brain and Behaviour Program, Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1X8.

Erratum in

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jun 20;103(25):9744.


Src is the prototypic protein tyrosine kinase and is critical for controlling diverse cellular functions. Regions in Src define structural and functional domains conserved in many cell signaling proteins. Src also contains a region of low sequence conservation termed the unique domain, the function of which has until now remained enigmatic. Here, we show that the unique domain of Src is a protein-protein interaction region and we identify NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (ND2) as a Src unique domain-interacting protein. ND2 is a subunit of complex I in mitochondria, but we find that ND2 interacts with Src outside this organelle at excitatory synapses in the brain. ND2 acts as an adapter protein anchoring Src to the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor complex, and is crucial for Src regulation of synaptic NMDA receptor activity. By showing an extramitochondrial action for a protein encoded in the mitochondrial genome, we identify a previously unsuspected means by which mitochondria regulate cellular function, suggesting a new paradigm that may be of general relevance for control of Src signaling.

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