The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

The tyrosine phosphatase STEP mediates AMPA receptor endocytosis after metabotropic glutamate receptor stimulation.

PMID 18923032


Although it is well established that AMPA receptor (AMPAR) trafficking is a central event in several forms of synaptic plasticity, the mechanisms that regulate the surface expression of AMPARs are poorly understood. Previous work has shown that striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase (STEP) mediates NMDAR endocytosis. This protein tyrosine phosphatase is enriched in the synapses of the striatum, hippocampus, cerebral cortex, and other brain regions. In the present investigation, we have explored whether STEP also regulates AMPAR internalization. We found that (RS)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) stimulation triggered a dose-dependent increase in STEP translation in hippocampal slices and synaptoneurosomes, a process that requires stimulation of mGluR5 (metabotropic glutamate receptor 5) and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases and phosphoinositide-3 kinase pathways. DHPG-induced AMPAR internalization and tyrosine dephosphorylation of GluR2 (glutamate receptor 2) was blocked by a substrate-trapping TAT-STEP [C/S] protein in hippocampal slices and cultures. Moreover, DHPG-triggered AMPAR internalization was abolished in STEP knock-out mice and restored after replacement of wild-type STEP. These results suggest a role for STEP in the regulation of AMPAR trafficking.

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