Extracellular Protein Phosphorylation in Neuronal Responsiveness and Adaptation

  • Yigal H. Ehrlich
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 221)


The significant role of protein phosphorylation systems in the regulation and modulation of multiple neuronal functions has been extensively documented in numerous studies over the last three decades. Beginning with the demonstration by Heald (1957) that brief depolarization of respiring brain slices can cause a significant increase of phosphate incorporation into cerebral proteins, progress in this line of investigation has led to the conclusion that the cyclic process of phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of proteins represents a ubiquitous target for diverse agents which produce rapid and transient changes in neuronal activity (reviewed by Greengard, 1978; Rodnight, 1983). More recent studies, carried out with identified neurons of invertebrates, have begun to provide direct evidence for the role of specific phosphoproteins in certain well defined neuronal functions (reviewed by Nestler and Greengard, 1983). Thus, in the chain of events that occurs intracellularly subsequent to the activation of second-messenger generating systems by neurotransmitters, hormones, growth factors and trophic agents, phosphoproteins constitute a crucial link essential for the process of stimulus-response coupling (for most recent reviews see Nishizuka, 1986 and chapter by Greengard et al., in this volume). In addition, phosphorylative activity has been recognized as a site of molecular adaptation in neurons, since it was shown that modifications in the process of protein phosphorylation are induced by inputs which cause long-lasting alterations in brain function (reviewed by Ehrlich, 1979, 1984, see also chapters by Lovinger and Routtenberg and by Alkon and Naito in this volume).


Protein Phosphorylation Neuronal Function Extracellular Environment Neuronal Responsiveness Protein Phosphorylation System 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yigal H. Ehrlich
    • 1
  1. 1.The Neuroscience Research Unit - Department of Psychiatry, the Department of Biochemistry, and the Cell-Biology ProgramUniversity of Vermont College of MedicineBurlingtonUSA

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