Identification of novel 14-3-3 residues that are critical for isoform-specific interaction with GluN2C to regulate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor trafficking

Connie Chung, Wei Hua Wu, Bo Shiun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


The 14-3-3 family of proteins is widely distributed in the CNS where they are major regulators of essential neuronal functions. There are seven known mammalian 14-3-3 isoforms (ζ,Υ, τ, ∈, η, β, and σ), which generally function as adaptor proteins. Previously, we have demonstrated that 14-3-3∈ isoform dynamically regulates forward trafficking of GluN2C-containing NMDA receptors (NMDARs) in cerebellar granule neurons, that when expressed on the surface, promotes neuronal survival following NMDA-induced excitotoxicity. Here, we report 14-3-3 isoform-specific binding and functional regulation of GluN2C. In particular, we show that GluN2C C-terminal domain (CTD) binds to all 14-3-3 isoforms except 14-3-3σ, and binding is dependent on GluN2C serine 1096 phosphorylation. Co-expression of 14-3-3 (ζ and ∈) and GluN1/GluN2C promotes the forward delivery of receptors to the cell surface. We further identify novel residues serine 145, tyrosine 178, and cysteine 189 on α-helices 6, 7, and 8, respectively, within ζ-iso-form as part of the GluN2C binding motif and independent of the canonical peptide binding groove. Mutation of these conserved residues abolishes GluN2C binding and has no functional effect on GluN2C trafficking. Reciprocal mutation of alanine 145, histidine 180, and isoleucine 191 on 14-3-3σ isoform promotes GluN2C binding and surface expression. Moreover, inhibiting endogenous 14-3-3 using a high-affinity peptide inhibitor, difopein, greatly diminishes GluN2C surface expression. Together, these findings highlight the isoform-specific structural and functional differences within the 14-3-3 family of proteins, which determine GluN2C binding and its essential role in targeting the receptor to the cell surface to facilitate glutamatergic neurotransmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23188-23200
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number38
StatePublished - Sep 18 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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