DARPP-32 mediates the actions of multiple drugs of abuse

AAPS J. 2005 Oct 5;7(2):E353-60. doi: 10.1208/aapsj070235.


Drugs of abuse share the ability to enhance dopaminergic neurotransmission in the dorsal and ventral striatum. The action of dopamine is modulated by additional neurotransmitters, including glutamate, serotonin and adenosine. All these neurotransmitters regulate the phosphorylation state of Dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein, Mr 32 kDa (DARPP-32). Phosphorylation at Thr(34) by protein kinase A converts DARPP-32 into a potent inhibitor of the multifunctional serine/threonine protein phosphatase, PP-1. Phosphorylation at Thr(75) by Cdk5 converts DARPP-32 into an inhibitor of protein kinase A. The state of phosphorylation of DARPP-32 at Thr(34) also depends on the phosphorylation state of Ser(97) and Ser(130), which are phosphorylated by CK2 and CK1, respectively. By virtue of regulation of these 4 phosphorylation sites, and through its ability to modulate the activity of PP-1 and protein kinase A, DARPP-32 plays a key role in integrating a variety of biochemical, electrophysiological, and behavioral responses controlled by dopamine and other neurotransmitters. Importantly, there is now a large body of evidence that supports a key role for DARPP-32-dependent signaling in mediating the actions of multiple drugs of abuse including cocaine, amphetamine, nicotine, caffeine, LSD, PCP, ethanol and morphine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Caffeine / metabolism
  • Cocaine / metabolism
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Dopamine and cAMP-Regulated Phosphoprotein 32 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / metabolism*
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / metabolism
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism


  • Dopamine and cAMP-Regulated Phosphoprotein 32
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Caffeine
  • Amphetamine
  • Protein Kinases
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • Cocaine
  • Dopamine