Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II phosphorylation of the presynaptic protein synapsin I is persistently increased during long-term potentiation.
Nayak AS., Moore CI., Browning MD.
Long-term potentiation (LTP) is an increase in synaptic responsiveness thought to be involved in mammalian learning and memory. The localization (presynaptic and/or postsynaptic) of changes underlying LTP has been difficult to resolve with current electrophysiological techniques. Using a biochemical approach, we have addressed this issue and attempted to identify specific molecular mechanisms that may underlie LTP. We utilized a novel multiple-electrode stimulator to produce LTP in a substantial portion of the synapses in a hippocampal CA1 minislice and tested the effects of such stimulation on the presynaptic protein synapsin I. LTP-inducing stimulation produced a long-lasting 6-fold increase in the phosphorylation of synapsin I at its Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II) sites without affecting synapsin I levels. This effect was fully blocked by either the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist D(-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (APV) or the CaM kinase II inhibitor KN-62. Our results indicate that LTP expression is accompanied by persistent changes in presynaptic phosphorylation, and specifically that presynaptic CaM kinase II activity and synapsin I phosphorylation may be involved in LTP expression.