Interactions and phosphorylation of postsynaptic density 93 (PSD-93) by extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)

Ming Lei Guo, Bing Xue, Dao Zhong Jin, Li Min Mao, John Q. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Postsynaptic density 93 (PSD-93) is a protein enriched at postsynaptic sites. As a key scaffolding protein, PSD-93 forms complexes with the clustering of various synaptic proteins to construct postsynaptic signaling networks and control synaptic transmission. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) is a prototypic member of a serine/threonine protein kinase family known as mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). This kinase, especially ERK2 isoform, noticeably resides in peripheral structures of neurons, such as dendritic spines and postsynaptic density areas, in addition to its distribution in the cytoplasm and nucleus, although little is known about specific substrates of ERK at synaptic sites. In this study, we found that synaptic PSD-93 is a direct target of ERK. This was demonstrated by direct protein-protein interactions between purified ERK2 and PSD-93 in vitro. The accurate ERK2-binding region seems to locate at an N-terminal region of PSD-93. In adult rat striatal neurons in vivo, native ERK from synaptosomal fractions also associated with PSD-93. In phosphorylation assays, active ERK2 phosphorylated PSD-93. An accurate phosphorylation site was identified at a serine site (S323). In striatal neurons, immunoprecipitated PSD-93 showed basal phosphorylation at an ERK-sensitive site. Our data provide evidence supporting PSD-93 as a new substrate of the synaptic species of ERK. ERK2 possesses the ability to interact with PSD-93 and phosphorylate PSD-93 at a specific site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Jul 17 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • JNK
  • MAPK
  • PDZ
  • PSD-95
  • Signaling
  • Striatum
  • Synapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Interactions and phosphorylation of postsynaptic density 93 (PSD-93) by extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this