Learning-induced glutamate receptor phosphorylation resembles that induced by long term potentiation

Kajal Shukla, James Kim, Jacqueline Blundell, Craig M. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Long term potentiation and long term depression of synaptic responses in the hippocampus are thought to be critical for certain forms of learning and memory, although until recently it has been difficult to demonstrate that long term potentiation or long term depression occurs during hippocampus-dependent learning. Induction of long term potentiation or long term depression in hippocampal slices in vitro modulates phosphorylation of the α-amino-3-hydrozy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid subtype of glutamate receptor subunit GluR1 at distinct phosphorylation sites. In long term potentiation, GluR1 phosphorylation is increased at the Ca2+/ calmodulin-dependent protein kinase and protein kinase C site serine 831, whereas in long term depression, phosphorylation of the protein kinase Asite serine 845 is decreased. Indeed, phosphorylation of one or both of these sites is required for long term synaptic plasticity and for certain forms of learning and memory. Here we demonstrate that training in a hippocampus-dependent learning task, contextual fear conditioning is associated with increased phosphorylation of GluR1 at serine 831 in the hippocampal formation. This increased phosphorylation is specific to learning, has a similar time course to that in long term potentiation, and like memory and long term potentiation, is dependent on N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation during training. Furthermore, the learning-induced increase in serine 831 phosphorylation is present at synapses and is in heteromeric complexes with the glutamate receptor subunit GluR2. These data indicate that a biochemical correlate of long term potentiation occurs at synapses in receptor complexes in a final, downstream, postsynaptic effector of long term potentiation during learning in vivo, further strengthening the link between long term potentiation and memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18100-18107
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 22 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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