Identification of protein kinase C phosphorylation sites within the AMPA receptor GluR2 subunit

B. J. McDonald, H. J. Chung, R. L. Huganir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phosphorylation of AMPA receptor subunits is believed to regulate channel function and synaptic plasticity. Extensive biochemical and molecular studies have identified sites of PKA, PKC and CamKII phosphorylation in the C-termini of the GluR1 and 4 subunits. Recent studies have shown GluR1 phosphorylation to be bidirectionally altered during long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) in the hippocampus. The majority of AMPA receptors in the brain are believed to contain the GluR2 subunit that also contains potential sites for protein phosphorylation. Here we characterize PKC phosphorylation on the GluR2 subunit using biochemical and molecular techniques. Site-directed mutagenesis confirmed that this phosphorylation occurs on Serine 863 and Serine 880 of the GluR2 subunit C-terminus. Site identification allowed the generation of phosphorylation site-specific antibodies to facilitate the examination of GluR2 modification in primary neuronal culture. These studies confirmed that GluR2 is modified in response to the activation of PKC and suggests that phosphorylation of the ubiquitous GluR2 subunit may be important in the regulation of excitatory synaptic transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-679
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • AMPA receptors
  • GluR2
  • Glutamate
  • PKC
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phosphorylation specific antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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