Group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) activate PI turnover and thereby trigger intracellular calcium release. Previously, we demonstrated that mGluRs form natural complexes with members of a family of Homer-related synaptic proteins. Here, we present evidence that Homer proteins form a physical tether linking mGluRs with the inositol trisphosphate receptors (IP3R). A novel proline-rich "Homer ligand" (PPXXFr) is identified in group 1 mGluRs and IP3R, and these receptors coimmunoprecipitate as a complex with Homer from brain. Expression of the IEG form of Homer, which lacks the ability to cross-link, modulates mGluR-induced intracellular calcium release. These studies identify a novel mechanism in calcium signaling and provide evidence that an IEG, whose expression is driven by synaptic activity, can directly modify a specific synaptic function.
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