N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors mediate the phosphorylation and desensitization of muscarinic receptors in cerebellar granule neurons.
Butcher AJ., Torrecilla I., Young KW., Kong KC., Mistry SC., Bottrill AR., Tobin AB.
Changes in synaptic strength mediated by ionotropic glutamate N-methyl-D-asparate (NMDA) receptors is generally considered to be the molecular mechanism underlying memory and learning. NMDA receptors themselves are subject to regulation through signaling pathways that are activated by G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). In this study we investigate the ability of NMDA receptors to regulate the signaling of GPCRs by focusing on the G(q/11)-coupled M(3)-muscarinic receptor expressed endogenously in mouse cerebellar granule neurons. We show that NMDA receptor activation results in the phosphorylation and desensitization of M(3)-muscarinic receptors through a mechanism dependent on NMDA-mediated calcium influx and the activity of calcium-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II. Our study reveals a complex pattern of regulation where GPCRs (M(3)-muscarinic) and NMDA receptors can feedback on each other in a process that is likely to influence the threshold value of signaling networks involved in synaptic plasticity.