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Original Article

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 2020; 24(1): 121-128

Published online January 1, 2020 https://doi.org/10.4196/kjpp.2020.24.1.121

Copyright © Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.

Ezrin-radixin-moesin proteins are regulated by Akt-GSK3β signaling in the rat nucleus accumbens core

Wha Young Kim1,#, Wen Ting Cai2,#, Ju Kyong Jang3, and Jeong-Hoon Kim1,2,*

Departments of 1Physiology and 2Medical Science, Brain Korea 21 Plus Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 03722, 3Bio-Pharm Solutions Co., Ltd., Suwon 16229, Korea

Correspondence to:*Jeong-Hoon Kim
E-mail: jkim1@yuhs.ac

#These authors contributed equally to this work.

Received: November 5, 2019; Revised: November 15, 2019; Accepted: November 20, 2019

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) proteins are a family of membrane-associated proteins known to play roles in cell-shape determination as well as in signaling pathways. We have previously shown that amphetamine decreases phosphorylation levels of these proteins in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), an important neuronal substrate mediating rewarding effects of drugs of abuse. In the present study, we further examined what molecular pathways may be involved in this process. By direct microinjection of LY294002, a PI3 kinase inhibitor, or of S9 peptide, a proposed GSK3β activator, into the NAcc core, we found that phosphorylation levels of ERM as well as of GSK3β in this site are simultaneously decreased. These results indicate that ERM proteins are under the regulation of Akt-GSK3β signaling pathway in the NAcc core. The present findings have a significant implication to a novel signal pathway possibly leading to structural plasticity in relation with drug addiction.

Keywords: Drug addiction, Glycogen synthase kinase, Nucleus accumbens, Protein kinase B, Signal transduction