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Antonio Sanz-Clemente

Antonio Sanz-Clemente, PhD

Associate Professor

Department: Pharmacology & Physiology


  • PhD in Neuroscience - University of Zaragoza, Spain (2006)
  • BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - University of Zaragoza, Spain (2001)

Awards & Honors

  • NARSAD Young Investigator Award (2016)
  • NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99), NIA (2013)
  • NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence (2008)
  • Spanish Ministry of Science and Education Student Award for Academic Faculty Training (2001)

Antonio Sanz-Clemente, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Research Overview

Research Interests

Synaptic protein content, glutamate receptors, synaptic/extrasynaptic NMDA receptor balance, excitotoxicity, excitatory neurotransmission, synaptic maturation, autism spectrum disorder, post-translational modifications



Glutamate receptor (GluR) activation triggers changes at the synaptic level that underlie higher cognitive functions. The Sanz-Clemente Lab is interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms that regulate GluR trafficking and underlie processes like learning and memory in physiological conditions. Similarly, we investigate how the alteration of GluR regulatory mechanisms leads to the synaptic malfunction associated with many neurological disorders. Ultimately, our goal is to generate molecular tools to reverse synaptic alterations by modulating GluRs trafficking and/or function. To achieve this goal, my lab utilizes a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches, including biochemistry, pharmacology, genetics, cellular/molecular biology, state-of-the-art imaging techniques and –omics approaches.

Current projects:

  • Investigating the molecular mechanisms controlling the balance between synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDARs
  • Modulation of synaptic NMDAR content as a novel therapeutic strategy to reduce excitotoxicity-mediated pathological outcomes in models of Alzheimer's disease
  • Investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse unsilencing during development and its influence in Rett syndrome pathophysiology

Model Excitotox (Sanz-Clemente Lab)


Selected Publications

“Shed CNTNAP2 ectodomain is detectable in the cerebrospinal fluid and regulates Ca2+ homeostasis and network synchrony via PMCA2/ATP2B2”
Martin-de-Saavedra MD, dos Santos M, Culotta L, Varea O, Spielman BP, Parnell E, Forrest M, Gao R, Yoon S, McCoig E, Jalloul H, Myczek K, Khalatyan N, Hall EA, Turk LS, Sanz-Clemente A, Comoletti D, Lichtenthaler SF, Burgdorf J, Barbolina M, Savas JM, Penzes P
Neuron. 2021, accepted

“NMDAR-Activated PP1 Dephosphorylates GluN2B to Modulate NMDAR Synaptic Content”
Chiu AM, Wang J, Fiske MP, Hubalkova P, Barse L, Gray JA, Sanz-Clemente A
Cell Reports. 2019 Jul 9;28(2):332-341.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.06.030. PMID: 31291571

“An Antibody Feeding Approach to Study Glutamate Receptor Trafficking in Dissociated Primary Hippocampal Cultures”
Chiu AM, Barse L, Hubalkova P, Sanz-Clemente A
J Vis Exp. 2019 Aug 2;(150):10.3791/59982. doi: 10.3791/59982. PMID: 6743481

“Dynamic Regulation of N-Methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) and α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid (AMPA) Receptors by Posttranslational Modifications”
Lussier MP, Sanz-Clemente A, Roche KW
J Biol Chem. 2015 Nov 27;290(48):28596-603. doi: 10.1074/jbc.R115.652750. Epub 2015 Oct 9.PMID: 26453298

“Activated CaMKII couples GluN2B and casein kinase 2 to control synaptic NMDA receptors”
Sanz-Clemente A, Gray JA, Ogilvie KA, Nicoll RA, Roche KW
Cell Reports. 2013 Mar 28;3(3):607-14. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.02.011. Epub 2013 Mar 7.PMID: 23478024

“Diversity in NMDA receptor composition: many regulators, many consequences”
Sanz-Clemente A, Nicoll RA, Roche KW
Neuroscientist. 2013 Feb;19(1):62-75. doi: 10.1177/1073858411435129. Epub 2012 Feb 17.PMID: 22343826

“mGluR5 and NMDA receptors drive the experience- and activity-dependent NMDA receptor NR2B to NR2A subunit switch”
Matta JA, Ashby MC, Sanz-Clemente A, Roche KW, Isaac JT
Neuron. 2011 Apr 28;70(2):339-51. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.02.045.PMID: 21521618

“Casein kinase 2 regulates the NR2 subunit composition of synaptic NMDA receptors”
Sanz-Clemente A, Matta JA, Isaac JT, Roche KW
Neuron. 2010 Sep 23;67(6):984-96. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.08.011.PMID: 20869595

Contact Information

Department of Pharmacology & Physiology
245 N. 15th Street
Mail Stop 488
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 267.359.2621
Fax: 215.762.2299