Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

Protein kinase D1-dependent phosphorylation of dopamine D1 receptor regulates cocaine-induced behavioral responses.

PMID 24362306


The dopamine (DA) D1 receptor (D1R) is critically involved in reward and drug addiction. Phosphorylation-mediated desensitization or internalization of D1R has been extensively investigated. However, the potential for upregulation of D1R function through phosphorylation remains to be determined. Here we report that acute cocaine exposure induces protein kinase D1 (PKD1) activation in the rat striatum, and knockdown of PKD1 in the rat dorsal striatum attenuates cocaine-induced locomotor hyperactivity. Moreover, PKD1-mediated phosphorylation of serine 421 (S421) of D1R promotes surface localization of D1R and enhances downstream extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling in D1R-transfected HEK 293 cells. Importantly, injection of the peptide Tat-S421, an engineered Tat fusion-peptide targeting S421 (Tat-S421), into the rat dorsal striatum inhibits cocaine-induced locomotor hyperactivity and injection of Tat-S421 into the rat hippocampus or the shell of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) also inhibits cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP). However, injection of Tat-S421 into the rat NAc shell does not establish CPP by itself and injection of Tat-S421 into the hippocampus does not influence spatial learning and memory. Thus, targeting S421 of D1R represents a promising strategy for the development of pharmacotherapeutic treatments for drug addiction and other disorders that result from DA imbalances.