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J Neurosci. 2009 Mar 4;29(9):2948-60. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4424-08.2009.

PSD-95 uncouples dopamine-glutamate interaction in the D1/PSD-95/NMDA receptor complex.

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New England Primate Research Center, Harvard Medical School, Southborough, Massachusetts 01772, USA.


Classical dopaminergic signaling paradigms and emerging studies on direct physical interactions between the D(1) dopamine (DA) receptor and the NMDA glutamate receptor predict a reciprocally facilitating, positive feedback loop. This loop, if not controlled, may cause concomitant overactivation of both D(1) and NMDA receptors, triggering neurotoxicity. Endogenous protective mechanisms must exist. Here, we report that PSD-95, a prototypical structural and signaling scaffold in the postsynaptic density, inhibits D(1)-NMDA receptor subunit 1 (NR1) NMDA receptor association and uncouples NMDA receptor-dependent enhancement of D(1) signaling. This uncoupling is achieved, at least in part, via a disinhibition mechanism by which PSD-95 abolishes NMDA receptor-dependent inhibition of D(1) internalization. Knockdown of PSD-95 immobilizes D(1) receptors on the cell surface and escalates NMDA receptor-dependent D(1) cAMP signaling in neurons. Thus, in addition to its role in receptor stabilization and synaptic plasticity, PSD-95 acts as a brake on the D(1)-NMDA receptor complex and dampens the interaction between them.

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