Homer proteins accelerate Ca 2+ clearance mediated by the plasma membrane Ca 2+ pump in hippocampal neurons

Elizabeth J. Salm, Stanley A Thayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The plasma membrane Ca 2+ ATPase (PMCA) is responsible for maintaining basal intracellular Ca 2+ concentration ([Ca 2+] i) and returning small increases in [Ca 2+] i back to resting levels. The carboxyl terminus of some PMCA splice variants bind Homer proteins; how binding affects PMCA function is unknown. Here, we examined the effects of altered expression of Homer proteins on PMCA-mediated Ca 2+ clearance from rat hippocampal neurons in culture. The kinetics of PMCA-mediated recovery from the [Ca 2+] i increase evoked by a brief train of action potentials was determined in the soma of single neurons using indo-1-based photometry. Exogenous expression of Homer 1a, Homer 1c or Homer 2a did not affect PMCA function. However, shRNA mediated knockdown of Homer 1 slowed PMCA mediated Ca 2+ clearance by 28% relative to cells expressing non-silencing shRNA. The slowed recovery rate in cells expressing Homer 1 shRNA was reversed by expression of a short Homer 2 truncation mutant. These results indicate that constitutively expressed Homer proteins tonically stimulate PMCA function in hippocampal neurons. We propose a model in which binding of short or long Homer proteins to the carboxyl terminus of the PMCA stimulates Ca 2+ clearance rate. PMCA-mediated Ca 2+ clearance may be stimulated following incorporation of the pump into Homer organized signaling domains and following induction of the Homer 1a immediate early gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-81
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 20 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The National Science Foundation [Grant IOS0814549 ] and the National Institute on Drug Abuse [Grants DA07304 and DA11806 ] supported this work.


  • Ca signaling
  • Hippocampal neuron
  • Homer
  • PDZ domain
  • PMCA


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