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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Jan 1;391(1):78-84. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.10.167. Epub 2009 Nov 5.

Regulation of phosphorylation at the postsynaptic density during different activity states of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II.

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Laboratory of Neurobiology, NINDS, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), the most abundant kinase at the postsynaptic density (PSD), is expected to be involved in activity-induced regulation of synaptic properties. CaMKII is activated when it binds calmodulin in the presence of Ca(2+) and, once autophosphorylated on T-286/7, remains active in the absence of Ca(2+) (autonomous form). In the present study we used a quantitative mass spectrometric strategy (iTRAQ) to identify sites on PSD components phosphorylated upon CaMKII activation. Phosphorylation in isolated PSDs was monitored under conditions where CaMKII is: (1) mostly inactive (basal state), (2) active in the presence of Ca(2+), and (3) active in the absence of Ca(2+). The quantification strategy was validated through confirmation of previously described autophosphorylation characteristics of CaMKII. The effectiveness of phosphorylation of major PSD components by the activated CaMKII in the presence and absence of Ca(2+) varied. Most notably, autonomous activity in the absence of Ca(2+) was more effective in the phosphorylation of three residues on SynGAP. Several PSD scaffold proteins were phosphorylated upon activation of CaMKII. The strategy adopted allowed the identification, for the first time, of CaMKII-regulated sites on SAPAPs and Shanks, including three conserved serine residues near the C-termini of SAPAP1, SAPAP2, and SAPAP3. Involvement of CaMKII in the phosphorylation of PSD scaffold proteins suggests a role in activity-induced structural re-organization of the PSD.

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