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Biochem Pharmacol. 1998 Oct 1;56(7):789-98.

Src, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, and synaptic plasticity.

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Division of Neuroscience, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The protein tyrosine kinase Src is expressed widely in the central nervous system and is abundant in neurons. Over the past several years, evidence has accumulated showing that one function of Src is to regulate the activity of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and other ion channels. NMDA receptors are a principal subtype of glutamate receptor that mediates fast excitatory transmission at most central synapses. Recently it has been discovered that, by means of up-regulating the function of NMDA receptors, Src mediates the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. This finding led to a new model for induction of LTP whereby tetanic stimulation produces a rapid activation of Src, causing enhanced NMDA receptor function. This enhanced NMDA receptor function boosts the entry of Ca2+, which may thereby trigger the downstream signalling cascade, ending in potentiation of non-NMDA receptors. This functional role for Src may be important in physiological and pathophysiological processes in the central nervous system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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