Protein kinase Mζ synthesis from a brain mRNA encoding an independent protein kinase Cζ catalytic domain. Implications for the molecular mechanism of memory

A. Ivan Hernandez, Nancy Blace, John F. Crary, Peter A. Serrano, Michael Leitges, Jenny M. Libien, Gila Weinstein, Andrew Tcherapanov, Todd Charlton Sacktor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

237 Scopus citations

Abstract

Protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ) is a newly described form of PKC that is necessary and sufficient for the maintenance of hippocampal long term potentiation (LTP) and the persistence of memory in Drosophila. PKMζ is the independent catalytic domain of the atypical PKCζ isoform and produces long term effects at synapses because it is persistently active, lacking autoinhibition from the regulatory domain of PKCζ. PKM has been thought of as a proteolytic fragment of PKC. Here we report that brain PKMζ is a new PKC isoform, synthesized from a PKMζ mRNA encoding a PKCζ catalytic domain without a regulatory domain. Multiple ζ-specific antisera show that PKMζ is expressed in rat forebrain as the major form of ζ in the near absence of full-length PKCζ. A PKCζ knockout mouse, in which the regulatory domain was disrupted and catalytic domain spared, still expresses brain PKMζ, indicating that this form of PKM is not a PKCζ proteolytic fragment. Furthermore, the distribution of brain PKMζ does not correlate with PKCζ mRNA but instead with an alternate ζ RNA transcript thought incapable of producing protein. In vitro translation of this RNA, however, generates PKMζ of the same molecular weight as that in brain. Metabolic labeling of hippocampal slices shows increased de novo synthesis of PKMζ in LTP. Because PKMζ is a kinase synthesized in an autonomously active form and is necessary and sufficient for maintaining LTP, it serves as an example of a link coupling gene expression directly to synaptic plasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40305-40316
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume278
Issue number41
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

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