Open Access

Serine racemase: a key player in neuron activity and in neuropathologies

Barbara Campanini1,Francesca Spyrakis2,Alessio Peracchi3,Andrea Mozzarelli1,4,*
Department of Pharmacy, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
Department of Food Sciences, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
Department of Biosciences, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
National Institute of Biostructures and Biosystems, Rome, Italy
DOI: 10.2741/4167 Volume 18 Issue 3, pp.1112-1128
Published: 01 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical aspects of pyridoxal phosphate dependent enzymes)
*Corresponding Author(s):  
Andrea Mozzarelli

Serine racemase is the pyridoxal 5’-phosphatedependent enzyme that catalyzes L-serine racemisation to D-serine, and L- and D-serine beta-elimination in mammalian brain. D-serine is the essential co-agonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, that mediates neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity, cell migration and long term potentiation. High and low D-serine levels have been associated with distinct neuropathologies, agingrelated deficits and psychiatric disorders due to either hyper- or hypo-activation of the receptor. Serine racemase dual activity is regulated by ATP, divalent cations, cysteine nitrosylation, post-translational modifications, and interactions with proteins that bind either at the N- or Cterminus. A detailed elucidation of the molecular basis of catalysis, regulation and conformational plasticity, as well as enzyme and D-serine localization and neurons and astrocytes cross-talk, opens the way to the development of enzyme inhibitors and effectors for tailored therapeutic treatments.

Key words

D-serine; NMDA receptor, Amino Acid Racemization, Catalysis, Pyridoxal 5’-Phosphate, Review

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Barbara Campanini, Francesca Spyrakis, Alessio Peracchi, Andrea Mozzarelli. Serine racemase: a key player in neuron activity and in neuropathologies. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2013. 18(3); 1112-1128.