It is important for neurotransmission to control the number of receptors at synapses. The synaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA)-type of glutamate receptors (AMPARs) control the strength of excitatory transmission. These receptors are mobile and cycle between internal endosomal compartments and the plasma membrane. We have identified previously a protein complex between the endosomal protein NEEP21, the AMPAR subunit GluR2 and the scaffold protein GRIP necessary for correct GluR2 recycling. Here we elucidate the regulation underlying the complex formation and dissociation necessary for the trafficking through endosomal compartments. We show that a 85 kDa protein kinase, which is associated with NEEP21, phosphorylates GRIP on serine 917. Protein kinase C is activated by glutamate receptor stimulation, and leads to the activation of the NEEP21-associated kinase. The phosphorylation of GRIP leads to a reduced binding between GRIP and NEEP21, and GRIP and GluR2. Serine 917 is implicated in AMPAR cycling, since a wildtype carboxyterminal GRIP fragment expressed in hippocampal neurons interferes with GluR2 surface expression. On the contrary, a S917D mutant fragment does not interfere with GluR2 surface expression. The regulation of the formation and dissociation of the protein complex between NEEP21, GluR2 and GRIP1 may suggest a sorting mechanism between the recycling and degradation pathways for the AMPAR subunit GluR2. This is especially important in the light of the discovery of a form of plasticity which implicates GluR2-lacking AMPAR, and the fact that insertion of GluR2-lacking AMPAR are implicated in a number of neurological diseases like ALS or ischemia. Our results identify an important regulatory mechanism in the trafficking of AMPAR subunits between internal compartments and the plasma membrane.