Molecular mechanism linking BDNF/TrkB signaling with the NMDA receptor in memory: The role of Girdin in the CNS

Norimichi Itoh, Atsushi Enomoto, Taku Nagai, Masahide Takahashi, Kiyofumi Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


It is well known that synaptic plasticity is the cellular mechanism underlying learning and memory. Activity-dependent synaptic changes in electrical properties and morphology, including synaptogenesis, lead to alterations of synaptic strength, which is associated with long-term potentiation (LTP). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) signaling is involved in learning and memory formation by regulating synaptic plasticity. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K)/Akt pathway is one of the key signaling cascades downstream BDNF/TrkB and is believed to modulate N-methyl-d-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor-mediated synaptic plasticity. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the connection between these two key players in synaptic plasticity remains largely unknown. Girders of actin filament (Girdin), an Akt substrate that directly binds to actin filaments, has been shown to play a role in neuronal migration and neuronal development. Recently, we identified Girdin as a key molecule involved in regulating long-term memory. It was demonstrated that phosphorylation of Girdin by Akt contributed to the maintenance of LTP by linking the BDNF/TrkB signaling pathway with NMDA receptor activity. These findings indicate that Girdin plays a pivotal role in a variety of processes in the CNS. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding about the roles of Girdin in the CNS and focus particularly on neuronal migration and memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-490
Number of pages10
JournalReviews in the Neurosciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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