GABAA receptors are critical in controlling neuronal activity. Here, we examined the role for phospholipase C-related inactive protein type 1 (PRIP-1), which binds and inactivates protein phosphatase 1α (PP1α) in facilitating GABAA receptor phospho-dependent regulation using PRIP-1-/- mice. In wild-type animals, robust phosphorylation and functional modulation of GABAA receptors containing β3 subunits by cAMP-dependent protein kinase was evident, which was diminished in PRIP-1-/- mice. PRIP-1-/- mice exhibited enhanced PP1α activity compared with controls. Furthermore, PRIP-1 was able to interact directly with GABAA receptor β subunits, and moreover, these proteins were found to be PP1α substrates. Finally, phosphorylation of PRIP-1 on threonine 94 facilitated the dissociation of PP1α-PRIP-1 complexes, providing a local mechanism for the activation of PP1α. Together, these results suggest an essential role for PRIP-1 in controlling GABAA receptor activity via regulating subunit phosphorylation and thereby the efficacy of neuronal inhibition mediated by these receptors.
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