Nitric oxide (NO) produced by neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) is important for N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent neurotransmitter release, neurotoxicity, and cyclic GMP elevations. The coupling of NMDA receptor-mediated calcium influx and nNOS activation is postulated to be due to a physical coupling of the receptor and the enzyme by an intermediary adaptor protein, PSD95, through a unique PDZ-PDZ domain interaction between PSD95 and nNOS. Here, we report the identification of a novel nNOS-associated protein, CAPON, which is highly enriched in brain and has numerous colocalizations with nNOS. CAPON interacts with the nNOS PDZ domain through its C terminus. CAPON competes with PSD95 for interaction with nNOS, and overexpression of CAPON results in a loss of PSD95/nNOS complexes in transfected cells. CAPON may influence nNOS by regulating its ability to associate with PSD95/NMDA receptor complexes.
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