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

Postsynaptic clustering and activation of Pyk2 by PSD-95.


PMID 20071509

Abstract

The tyrosine kinase Pyk2 plays a unique role in intracellular signal transduction by linking Ca(2+) influx to tyrosine phosphorylation, but the molecular mechanism of Pyk2 activation is unknown. We report that Pyk2 oligomerization by antibodies in vitro or overexpression of PSD-95 in PC6-3 cells induces trans-autophosphorylation of Tyr402, the first step in Pyk2 activation. In neurons, Ca(2+) influx through NMDA-type glutamate receptors causes postsynaptic clustering and autophosphorylation of endogenous Pyk2 via Ca(2+)- and calmodulin-stimulated binding to PSD-95. Accordingly, Ca(2+) influx promotes oligomerization and thereby autoactivation of Pyk2 by stimulating its interaction with PSD-95. We show that this mechanism of Pyk2 activation is critical for long-term potentiation in the hippocampus CA1 region, which is thought to underlie learning and memory.

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