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EMBO J. 2011 Jan 5;30(1):165-80. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2010.286. Epub 2010 Nov 30.

DGKι regulates presynaptic release during mGluR-dependent LTD.

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Department of Biological Sciences, National Creative Research Initiative Center for Synaptogenesis, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon, Korea.


Diacylglycerol (DAG) is an important lipid second messenger. DAG signalling is terminated by conversion of DAG to phosphatidic acid (PA) by diacylglycerol kinases (DGKs). The neuronal synapse is a major site of DAG production and action; however, how DGKs are targeted to subcellular sites of DAG generation is largely unknown. We report here that postsynaptic density (PSD)-95 family proteins interact with and promote synaptic localization of DGKι. In addition, we establish that DGKι acts presynaptically, a function that contrasts with the known postsynaptic function of DGKζ, a close relative of DGKι. Deficiency of DGKι in mice does not affect dendritic spines, but leads to a small increase in presynaptic release probability. In addition, DGKι-/- synapses show a reduction in metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent long-term depression (mGluR-LTD) at neonatal (∼2 weeks) stages that involve suppression of a decrease in presynaptic release probability. Inhibition of protein kinase C normalizes presynaptic release probability and mGluR-LTD at DGKι-/- synapses. These results suggest that DGKι requires PSD-95 family proteins for synaptic localization and regulates presynaptic DAG signalling and neurotransmitter release during mGluR-LTD.

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