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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Dec 6;91(25):11958-62.

An ADP-ribosyltransferase as a potential target for nitric oxide action in hippocampal long-term potentiation.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305-5426.


Recent studies of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 region of the hippocampus have demonstrated that nitric oxide (NO) may be involved in some forms of LTP and have suggested that postsynaptically generated NO is a candidate to act as a retrograde messenger. However, the molecular target(s) of NO in LTP remain to be elucidated. The present study examined whether either of two potential NO targets, a soluble guanylyl cyclase or an ADP-ribosyltransferase (ADPRT; EC plays a role in LTP. The application of membrane-permeant analogs of cGMP did not produce any long-lasting alterations in synaptic strength. In addition, application of a cGMP-dependent protein kinase inhibitor did not prevent LTP. We found that the CA1 tissue from hippocampus possesses an ADPRT activity that is dramatically stimulated by NO and attenuated by two different inhibitors of mono-ADPRT activity, phylloquinone and nicotinamide. The extracellular application of these same inhibitors prevented LTP. Postsynaptic injection of nicotinamide failed to attenuate LTP, suggesting that the critical site of ADPRT activity resides at a nonpostsynaptic locus. These results suggest that ADP-ribosylation plays a role in LTP and are consistent with the idea that an ADPRT may be a target of NO action.

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