TITLE

Dock3 interaction with a glutamate-receptor NR2D subunit protects neurons from excitotoxicity

AUTHOR(S)
Bai, Ning; Hayashi, Hideki; Aida, Tomomi; Namekata, Kazuhiko; Harada, Takayuki; Mishina, Masayoshi; Tanaka, Kohichi
PUB. DATE
June 2013
SOURCE
Molecular Brain;2013, Vol. 6 Issue 1, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are critical for neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. Dysregulation of NMDARs is implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders. Native NMDARs are heteromultimeric protein complexes consisting of NR1 and NR2 subunits. NR2 subunits (NR2A-D) are the major determinants of the functional properties of NMDARs. Most research has focused on NR2A- and/or NR2B-containing receptors. A recent study demonstrated that NR2C- and/or NR2D-containing NMDARs are the primary targets of memantine, a drug that is widely prescribed to treat Alzheimer's disease. Our laboratory demonstrated that memantine prevents the loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in GLAST glutamate transporter knockout mice, a model of normal tension glaucoma (NTG), suggesting that NR2D-containing receptors may be involved in RGC loss in NTG. Results: Here we demonstrate that NR2D deficiency attenuates RGC loss in GLAST-deficient mice. Furthermore, Dock3, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor, binds to the NR2D C-terminal domain and reduces the surface expression of NR2D, thereby protecting RGCs from excitotoxicity. Conclusions: These results suggest that NR2D is involved in the degeneration of RGCs induced by excitotoxicity, and that the interaction between NR2D and Dock3 may have a neuroprotective effect. These findings raise the possibility that NR2D and Dock3 might be potential therapeutic targets for treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and NTG.
ACCESSION #
87990973

 

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