An Evolutionary Switch in ND2 enables Src kinase regulation of NMDA receptors

David P. Scanlon, Alaji Bah, Mickaël Krzeminski, Wenbo Zhang, Heather L. Leduc-Pessah, Yi Na Dong, Julie D. Forman-Kay, Michael W. Salter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The non-receptor tyrosine kinase Src is a key signalling hub for upregulating the function of N-methyl D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs). Src is anchored within the NMDAR complex via NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (ND2), a mitochondrially encoded adaptor protein. The interacting regions between Src and ND2 have been broadly identified, but the interaction between ND2 and the NMDAR has remained elusive. Here we generate a homology model of ND2 and dock it onto the NMDAR via the transmembrane domain of GluN1. This interaction is enabled by the evolutionary loss of three helices in bilaterian ND2 proteins compared to their ancestral homologues. We experimentally validate our model and demonstrate that blocking this interaction with an ND2 fragment identified in our experimental studies prevents Src-mediated upregulation of NMDAR currents in neurons. Our findings establish the mode of interaction between an NMDAR accessory protein with one of the core subunits of the receptor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15220
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


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