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Neuron. 2007 Nov 8;56(3):488-502.

Synaptic accumulation of PSD-95 and synaptic function regulated by phosphorylation of serine-295 of PSD-95.

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

Erratum in

  • Neuron. 2008 Jan 24;57(2):326-7.


The scaffold protein PSD-95 promotes the maturation and strengthening of excitatory synapses, functions that require proper localization of PSD-95 in the postsynaptic density (PSD). Here we report that phosphorylation of ser-295 enhances the synaptic accumulation of PSD-95 and the ability of PSD-95 to recruit surface AMPA receptors and potentiate excitatory postsynaptic currents. We present evidence that a Rac1-JNK1 signaling pathway mediates ser-295 phosphorylation and regulates synaptic content of PSD-95. Ser-295 phosphorylation is suppressed by chronic elevation, and increased by chronic silencing, of synaptic activity. Rapid dephosphorylation of ser-295 occurs in response to NMDA treatment that causes chemical long-term depression (LTD). Overexpression of a phosphomimicking mutant (S295D) of PSD-95 inhibited NMDA-induced AMPA receptor internalization and blocked the induction of LTD. The data suggest that synaptic strength can be regulated by phosphorylation-dephosphorylation of ser-295 of PSD-95 and that synaptic depression requires the dephosphorylation of ser-295.

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