DARPP-32: an integrator of neurotransmission

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2004;44:269-96. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.44.101802.121415.


Dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein, Mr 32 kDa (DARPP-32), was identified initially as a major target for dopamine and protein kinase A (PKA) in striatum. However, recent advances now indicate that regulation of the state of DARPP-32 phosphorylation provides a mechanism for integrating information arriving at dopaminoceptive neurons, in multiple brain regions, via a variety of neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, neuropeptides, and steroid hormones. Activation of PKA or PKG stimulates DARPP-32 phosphorylation at Thr34 and thereby converts DARPP-32 into a potent inhibitor of protein phosphatase-1 (PP-1). DARPP-32 is also phosphorylated at Thr75 by Cdk5 and this converts DARPP-32 into an inhibitor of PKA. Thus, DARPP-32 has the unique property of being a dual-function protein, acting either as an inhibitor of PP-1 or of PKA. The state of phosphorylation of DARPP-32 at Thr34 depends on the phosphorylation state of two serine residues, Ser102 and Ser137, which are phosphorylated by CK2 and CK1, respectively. By virtue of its ability to modulate the activity of PP-1 and PKA, DARPP-32 is critically involved in regulating electrophysiological, transcriptional, and behavioral responses to physiological and pharmacological stimuli, including antidepressants, neuroleptics, and drugs of abuse.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antipsychotic Agents / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / ultrastructure
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Dopamine and cAMP-Regulated Phosphoprotein 32
  • Humans
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / metabolism
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Phosphoproteins / physiology*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Phosphatase 1
  • Synaptic Transmission*


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Dopamine and cAMP-Regulated Phosphoprotein 32
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • Protein Phosphatase 1
  • Dopamine