Calcineurin regulation of neuronal plasticity

Rachel D. Groth, Robert L. Dunbar, Paul G Mermelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


From the most basic of nervous systems to the intricate circuits found within the human brain, a fundamental requirement of neuronal function is that it be malleable, altering its output based upon experience. A host of cellular proteins are recruited for this purpose, which themselves are regulated by protein phosphorylation. Over the past several decades, research has demonstrated that the Ca2+ and calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase calcineurin (protein phosphatase 2B) is a critical regulator of a diverse array of proteins, leading to both short- and long-term effects on neuronal excitability and function. This review describes many of the influences of calcineurin on a variety of proteins, including ion channels, neurotransmitter receptors, enzymes, and transcription factors. Intriguingly, due to the bi-directional influences of Ca2+ and calmodulin on calcineurin activity, the strength and duration of particular stimulations may cause apparently antagonistic functions of calcineurin to work in concert.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1159-1171
Number of pages13
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 28 2003


  • AMPA
  • CREB
  • Calcineurin
  • DARRP-32
  • GABA
  • Inhibitor 1
  • LTD
  • LTP
  • NFAT
  • NMDA
  • Protein phosphatase 2B

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