Protein kinase A (PKA) has diverse functions in neurons. At rest, the subcellular localization of PKA is controlled by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). However, the dynamics of PKA upon activation remain poorly understood. Here, we report that elevation of cyclic AMP (cAMP) in neuronal dendrites causes a significant percentage of the PKA catalytic subunit (PKA-C) molecules to be released from the regulatory subunit (PKA-R). Liberated PKA-C becomes associated with the membrane via N-terminal myristoylation. This membrane association does not require the interaction between PKA-R and AKAPs. It slows the mobility of PKA-C and enriches kinase activity on the membrane. Membrane-residing PKA substrates are preferentially phosphorylated compared to cytosolic substrates. Finally, the myristoylation of PKA-C is critical for normal synaptic function and plasticity. We propose that activation-dependent association of PKA-C renders the membrane a unique PKA-signaling compartment. Constrained mobility of PKA-C may synergize with AKAP anchoring to determine specific PKA function in neurons.
- AMPA/NMDA current radio
- activation-dependent membrane association
- cAMP-dependent kinase
- synaptic plasticity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology