Post-synaptic density-95 promotes calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II-mediated Ser847 phosphorylation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase

Yasuo Watanabe, Tao Song, Katsuyoshi Sugimoto, Mariko Horii, Nobukazu Araki, Hiroshi Tokumitsu, Tohru Tezuka, Tadashi Yamamoto, Masaaki Tokuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Post-synaptic density-95 (PSD-95) is a neuronal scaffolding protein that associates with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and links them to intracellular signalling molecules. In neurons, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) binds selectively to the second PDZ domain (PDZ2) of PSD-95, thereby exhibiting physiological activation triggered via NMDA receptors. We have demonstrated previously that Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (CaM-K IIα) directly phosphorylates nNOS at residue Ser847, and can attenuate the catalytic activity of the enzyme in neuronal cells [Komeima, Hayashi, Naito and Watanabe (2000) J. Biol. Chem. 275, 28139-28143]. In the present study, we examined how CaM-K II participates in the phosphorylation by analysing the functional interaction between nNOS and PSD-95 in cells. The results showed that PSD-95 directly promotes the nNOS phosphorylation at Ser847 induced by endogenous CaM-K II. In transfected cells, this effect of PSD-95 required its dual palmitoylation and the PDZ2 domain, but did not rely on its guanylate kinase domain. CaM-K Iα and CaM-K IV failed to phosphorylate nNOS at Ser847 in transfected cells. Thus PSD-95 mediates cellular trafficking of nNOS, and may be required for the efficient phosphorylation of nNOS at Ser847 by CaM-K II in neuronal cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-471
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II
  • Cellular trafficking
  • KN-93
  • Neuronal nitric oxide synthase
  • PDZ domain
  • PSD-95

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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