Ephrin-B3 regulates glutamate receptor signaling at hippocampal synapses

Marcia D. Antion, Louisa A. Christie, Allison M. Bond, Matthew B. Dalva, Anis Contractor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


B-ephrin-EphB receptor signaling modulates NMDA receptors by inducing tyrosine phosphorylation of NR2 subunits. Ephrins and EphB RTKs are localized to postsynaptic compartments in the CA1, and therefore potentially interact in a non-canonical cis- configuration. However, it is not known whether cis- configured receptor-ligand signaling is utilized by this class of RTKs, and whether this might influence excitatory synapses. We found that ablation of ephrin-B3 results in an enhancement of the NMDA receptor component of synaptic transmission relative to the AMPA receptor component in CA1 synapses. Synaptic AMPA receptor expression is reduced in ephrin-B3 knockout mice, and there is a marked enhancement of tyrosine phosphorylation of the NR2B receptor subunit. In a reduced system co-expression of ephrin-B3 attenuated EphB2-mediated NR2B tyrosine phosphorylation. Moreover, phosphorylation of EphB2 was elevated in the hippocampus of ephrin-B3 knockout mice, suggesting that regulation of EphB2 activity is lost in these mice. Direct activation of EphB RTKs resulted in phosphorylation of NR2B and a potential signaling partner, the non-receptor tyrosine kinase Pyk2. Our data suggests that ephrin-B3 limits EphB RTK-mediated phosphorylation of the NR2B subunit through an inhibitory cis- interaction which is required for the correct function of glutamatergic CA1 synapses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-388
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • CA1
  • EphB2 RTK
  • Ephrin-B3
  • Excitatory synapse
  • Hippocampus
  • In cis signaling
  • NMDA receptor
  • Pyk2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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