Cerebellar long-term depression (LTD) is a model of synaptic memory that requires protein kinase C (PKC) activation and is expressed as a reduction in the number of postsynaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA) receptors. LTD was absent in cultured cerebellar Purkinje cells from mutant mice lacking the AMPA receptor GluR2 subunit and could be rescued by transient transfection with the wild-type GluR2 subunit. Transfection with a point mutant that eliminated PKC phosphorylation of Ser880 in the carboxy-terminal PDZ ligand of GluR2 failed to restore LTD. In contrast, transfection with a point mutant that mimicked phosphorylation at Ser880 occluded subsequent LTD. Thus, PKC phosphorylation of GluR2 Ser880 is a critical event in the induction of cerebellar LTD.
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