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Ca/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) and metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu) are critical signaling molecules in synaptic plasticity and learning/memory. Here, we demonstrate that mGlu is present in CaMKII complexes isolated from mouse forebrain. Further in vitro characterization showed that the membrane-proximal region of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of mGlu directly interacts with purified Thr286-autophosphorylated (activated) CaMKII However, the binding of CaMKII to this CTD fragment is reduced by the addition of excess Ca/calmodulin or by additional CaMKII autophosphorylation at non-Thr286 sites. Furthermore, in vitro binding of CaMKII is dependent on a tribasic residue motif Lys-Arg-Arg (KRR) at residues 866-868 of the mGlu-CTD, and mutation of this motif decreases the coimmunoprecipitation of CaMKII with full-length mGlu expressed in heterologous cells by about 50%. The KRR motif is required for two novel functional effects of coexpressing constitutively active CaMKII with mGlu in heterologous cells. First, cell-surface biotinylation studies showed that CaMKII increases the surface expression of mGlu Second, using Ca fluorimetry and single-cell Ca imaging, we found that CaMKII reduces the initial peak of mGlu-mediated Ca mobilization by about 25% while doubling the relative duration of the Ca signal. These findings provide new insights into the physical and functional coupling of these key regulators of postsynaptic signaling.
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