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Overassembly of synaptic glutamate receptors leads to excitotoxicity. The goal of this study is to investigate phosphorylation and assembly of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors after brain ischemia with reperfusion (I/R). Rats were subjected to 15 minutes of global ischemia followed by 0.5, 4, and 24 hours of reperfusion. Phosphotyrosine peptides of glutamate receptors in synaptosomal fraction after I/R were identified and quantified by state-of-the-art immuno-affinity purification of phosphotyrosine peptides followed by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry analysis (immunoaffinity purification-coupled liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry). Glutamate receptor phosphorylation and synaptic assembly after I/R were studied by biochemical methods. Numerous phosphotyrosine-sites of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate were upregulated by approximately 2- to 37-fold after I/R. A core glutamate receptor kinase, Src kinase, was significantly activated. GluR2/3 and NR2A/B were rapidly clustered from extrasynaptic to synaptic membrane fractions after I/R. GluR2/3 was then translocated into the intracellular pool, whereas NR2A/B remained in the synaptic fraction for as long as 24 hours. Consistently, trafficking-related phosphorylation of GluR2/3-S880 was significantly but transiently upregulated, whereas NR2A/B-Y1246 and NR2A/B-Y1472 were significantly and persistently upregulated after I/R. Phosphorylation of glutamate receptors at synapses may lead to overassembly of glutamate receptors, probably via activation of Src family kinases, after I/R. This study provides global proteomic information about glutamate receptor tyrosine phosphorylation after brain ischemia.


Fan Zhang, Ailan Guo, Chunli Liu, Micheal Comb, Bingren Hu. Phosphorylation and assembly of glutamate receptors after brain ischemia. Stroke. 2013 Jan;44(1):170-6

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PMID: 23212166

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