Aspartate racemase, generating neuronal D-aspartate, regulates adult neurogenesis

Paul M. Kim, Xin Duan, Alex S. Huang, Cindy Y. Liu, Guo Li Ming, Hongjun Song, Solomon H. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


D-Aspartic acid is abundant in the developing brain. We have identified and cloned mammalian aspartate racemase (DR), which converts L aspartate to D-aspartate and colocalizes with D-aspartate in the brain and neuroendocrine tissues. Depletion of DR by retrovirus-mediated expression of short-hairpin RNA in newborn neurons of the adult hippocampus elicits profound defects in the dendritic development andsurvivalofnewbornneuronsandsurvival. BecauseD-aspartate isa potential endogenous ligand for NMDA receptors, the loss of which elicits aphenotype resembling DR depletion,D-aspartate may function as a modulator of adult neurogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3175-3179
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 16 2010


  • Hippocampus
  • NMDA receptor
  • Neural progenitor cells
  • Neuroendocrine
  • Neuronal development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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