Kainate Receptors

Volume 717 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 115-125

BTB-Kelch Proteins and Ubiquitination of Kainate Receptors

  • John MarshallAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology and Biotechnology, Brown University Email author 
  • , Leslie A. C. Blair
  • , Jeffrey D. Singer

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Kainate receptors (KAR) form a class of glutamate receptors that have been implicated in epilepsy, stroke, Alzheimer’s and neuropathic pain.1 KAR subtypes are known to be segregated to specific locations within neurons and play significant roles in synaptic transmission and plasticity.2 Increasing evidence suggests a the role for ubiqutination in regulating the number of synaptic neurotransmitter receptors.35 The ubiquitin pathway consists of activation (E1), conjugation (E2) and ligation (E3). Cullins form the largest family of E3 ligase complexes. We have recently shown that the BTB/Kelch domain proteins, actinfilin and mayven, bind both Cul3 and specific KAR subtypes (GluR6 and GluR5-2b) to target these KARs for ubiquitination and degradation.5 In this chapter we will review how these interactions occur, what they mean for the stability of KARs and their associated proteins and how, in turn, they may affect synaptic functions in the central nervous system.