Synaptic clustering of neurotransmitter receptors is crucial for efficient signal transduction and integration in neurons. PDZ domain- containing proteins such as PSD-95/SAP90 interact with the intracellular C termini of a variety of receptors and are thought to be important in the targeting and anchoring of receptors to specific synapses. Here, we show that PICK1 (protein interacting with C kinase), a PDZ domain-containing protein, interacts with the C termini of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4- propionic acid (AMPA) receptors in vitro and in vivo. In neurons, PICK1 specifically colocalizes with AMPA receptors at excitatory synapses. Furthermore, PICK1 induces clustering of AMPA receptors in heterologous expression systems. These results suggest that PICK1 may play an important role in the modulation of synaptic transmission by regulating the synaptic targeting of AMPA receptors.
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