CaM Kinase: Still Inspiring at 40

Neuron. 2019 Aug 7;103(3):380-394. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.05.033.


The Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) was touted as a memory molecule, even before its involvement in long-term potentiation (LTP) was shown. The enzyme has not disappointed, with subsequent demonstrations of remarkable structural and regulatory properties. Its neuronal functions now extend to long-term depression (LTD), and last year saw the first direct evidence for memory storage by CaMKII. Although CaMKII may have taken the spotlight, it is a member of a large family of diverse and interesting CaM kinases. Our aim is to place CaMKII in context of the other CaM kinases and then review certain aspects of this kinase that are of current interest.

Keywords: CaMKII; DAPK; LTD; LTP; calmodulin; memory; synapse.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Brain / enzymology
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2 / chemistry
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2 / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology
  • Memory / physiology
  • Models, Molecular
  • Multigene Family
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / chemistry
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Domains
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / classification
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism
  • Synaptic Transmission


  • NR2B NMDA receptor
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2