Modulation of NMDA Receptor- Dependent Calcium Influx and Gene Expression Through EphB Receptors

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Science  18 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5554, pp. 491-495
DOI: 10.1126/science.1065983

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Protein-protein interactions and calcium entry through theN-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)–type glutamate receptor regulate synaptic development and plasticity in the central nervous system. The EphB receptor tyrosine kinases are localized at excitatory synapses where they cluster and associate with NMDA receptors. We identified a mechanism whereby EphBs modulate NMDA receptor function. EphrinB2 activation of EphB in primary cortical neurons potentiates NMDA receptor–dependent influx of calcium. Treatment of cells with ephrinB2 led to NMDA receptor tyrosine phosphorylation through activation of the Src family of tyrosine kinases. These ephrinB2-dependent events result in enhanced NMDA receptor–dependent gene expression. Our findings indicate that ephrinB2 stimulation of EphB modulates the functional consequences of NMDA receptor activation and suggest a mechanism whereby activity-independent and activity-dependent signals converge to regulate the development and remodeling of synaptic connections.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Present address: Department of Neurobiology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: michael.greenberg{at}

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