Background: Rare genetic variants of SLITRK1 have been previously associated with Tourette syndrome (TS), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms. Methods: We studied SLITRK1 processing and phosphorylation. To explore potential signaling pathways of the cytoplasmic domain of SLITRK1, we made use of the yeast two-hybrid screen. Results: We observed that the extracellular domain of SLITRK1 is secreted in vitro and in vivo and that this process is activated by protein kinase C and inhibited by an inhibitor of tumor necrosis factor-α converting enzyme (TACE). We observed that SLITRK1 undergoes γ-secretase cleavage to release a SLITRK1 intracellular domain (SICD). We identified an interaction between SLITRK1 and 14-3-3 proteins and observed that these proteins co-localized in cortical neuronal cultures and were coprecipitated from rat brain lysates, consistent with an interaction in vivo. We mapped the binding site to the very COOH-terminus of SLITRK1, as deletion of the last six amino acids of SLITRK1 abolished the interaction. We demonstrated phosphorylation of SLITRK1 by protein kinase A (PKA), protein kinase C (PKC), and casein kinase II (CK2) and observed that CK2 phosphorylates SLITRK1 in the 14-3-3 binding site. Mutating the CK2 phosphorylation site of SLITRK1 decreased binding to 14-3-3 and inhibited SLITRK1-mediated neurite outgrowth. Conclusions: Our results shed light on the cell biology of SLITRK1, including its protein phosphorylation and potential molecular pathways for SLITRK1 function, and should contribute to further understanding the role of SLIRTK1 in developmental neuropsychiatric conditions such TS, OCD, and ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)918-925
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2009


  • Tourette syndrome
  • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • presenilin
  • trichotillomania
  • tumor necrosis factor α converting enzyme
  • yeast two-hybrid
  • α-secretase
  • γ-secretase


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