Interactions between the NR2B receptor and CaMKII modulate synaptic plasticity and spatial learning

Yu Zhou, Eiki Takahashi, Weidong Li, Amy Halt, Brian Wiltgen, Dan Ehninger, Guo Dong Li, Johannes W. Hell, Mary B. Kennedy, Alcino J. Silva

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147 Citations (Scopus)


The NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor interacts with several prominent proteins in the postsynaptic density, including calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). To determine the function of these interactions, we derived transgenic mice expressing a ligand-activated carboxy-terminal NR2B fragment (cNR2B) by fusing this fragment to a tamoxifen (TAM)-dependent mutant of the estrogen receptor ligand-binding domain LBDG521R. Here, we show that induction by TAM allows the transgenic cNR2B fragment to bind to endogenous CaMKII in neurons. Activation of the LBDG521R-cNR2B transgenic protein in mice leads to the disruption of CaMKII/NR2B interactions at synapses. The disruption decreases Thr286 phosphorylation of αCaMKII, lowers phosphorylation of a key CaMKII substrate in the postsynaptic membrane (AMPA receptor subunit glutamate receptor 1), and produces deficits in hippocampal long-term potentiation and spatial learning. Together our results demonstrate the importance of interactions between CaMKII and NR2B for CaMKII activity, synaptic plasticity, and learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13843-13853
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - Dec 12 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)


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