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J Neurosci. 1996 Dec 1;16(23):7407-15.

Cloning and characterization of postsynaptic density 93, a nitric oxide synthase interacting protein.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine, 94143-0444, USA.


Nitric oxide (NO) formation in brain is regulated by the calcium/calmodulin dependence of neuronal NO synthase (nNOS). Calcium influx through NMDA-type glutamate receptors is efficiently coupled to nNOS activity, whereas many other intracellular calcium pathways are poorly coupled. To elucidate possible mechanisms responsible for this coupling, we performed yeast two-hybrid screening to identify proteins that interact with nNOS. Two nNOS interacting proteins were identified: the postsynaptic density proteins PSD-93 and PSD-95. Here, we report the cloning and characterization of PSD-93. PSD-93 is expressed in discrete neuronal populations as well as in specific non-neuronal cells, and it exhibits complex molecular diversity attributable to tissue-specific alternative splicing. PSD-93, like PSD-95, binds to nNOS and to the NMDA receptor 2B. PSD-93, however, is unique among PSD-95/SAP-90 family members in its expression in Purkinje neuron cell bodies and dendrites. We also demonstrate that the PDZ domain at the N terminus of nNOS is required, but it is not sufficient for interaction with PSD-93/95. Given that PSD-93 and PSD-95 each contain multiple potential binding sites for nNOS and the NMDA receptor, complexes involving oligomers of PSD-93/95 may help account for the functional as well as the physical coupling of nNOS to NMDA receptors.

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