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Neuron. 1998 Jan;20(1):143-51.

Role of protein kinase C phosphorylation in rapid desensitization of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5.

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Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) coupled to phosphoinositide hydrolysis desensitize in response to prolonged or repeated agonist exposure, and evidence suggests that this involves activation of protein kinase C (PKC). The present studies were undertaken to determine if cloned mGluR5 undergoes similar PKC-mediated desensitization and to investigate the molecular mechanism underlying PKC-induced desensitization. In Xenopus oocytes, both mGluR5a and mGluR5b showed pronounced desensitization in response to a brief activation by glutamate. Pharmacological studies clearly suggest that this desensitization requires PKC-mediated phosphorylation. Analysis of PKC consensus phosphorylation site mutants suggests that PKC phosphorylates mGluR5 at multiple sites to induce a relatively rapid form of desensitization. Because mGluRs play important roles in synaptic plasticity and in excitotoxicity, this desensitization may be involved in the dynamic regulation of these processes.

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