Voluntary movement difficulties in Parkinson's disease are initially relieved by L-DOPA therapy, but with disease progression, the repeated L-DOPA treatments can produce debilitating motor abnormalities known as L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias. We show here that 2 striatum-enriched regulators of the Ras/Rap/ERK MAP kinase signal transduction cascade, matrix-enriched CalDAG-GEFI and striosome-enriched CalDAG-GEFII (also known as RasGRP), are strongly and inversely dysregulated in proportion to the severity of abnormal movements induced by L-DOPA in a rat model of parkinsonism. In the dopamine-depleted striatum, the L-DOPA treatments produce down-regulation of CalDAG-GEFI and up-regulation of CalDAG-GEFII mRNAs and proteins, and quantification of the mRNA levels shows that these changes are closely correlated with the severity of the dyskinesias. As these CalDAG-GEFs control ERK cascades, which are implicated in L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias, and have differential compartmental expression patterns in the striatum, we suggest that they may be key molecules involved in the expression of the dyskinesias. They thus represent promising new therapeutic targets for limiting the motor complications induced by L-DOPA therapy. © 2009 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.