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Molecular Organization and Regulation of Glutamate Receptors in Developing and Adult Mammalian Central Nervous Systems

  • E. Molnár

Abstract:

The amino acid glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS), and it exerts its physiological effects by binding to a number of different ionotropic (ligand-gated ion channels) and metabotropic (G-protein-coupled) glutamate receptors. In addition to excitatory neurotransmission, glutamate receptors play an essential role in neuronal differentiation, plastic changes in efficacy of synaptic transmission, neurodegeneration, and neuronal cell death. The application of molecular cloning technology identified a complex and diverse receptor family. To date, 18 different ionotropic glutamate receptor (iGluR) genes and 8 genes for metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) have been identified from mammals. The availability of more selective drugs, gene knockout mice and high-resolution immunohistochemical studies started to reveal the pharmacological and functional properties of individual iGluR subunits and mGluR isoforms. Wide range of studies in recent years indicated that the activity and synaptic distribution of various glutamate receptors are dynamically regulated by phosphorylation and protein–protein interactions, which are key mechanisms in mediating synaptic plasticity. This chapter reviews some of the recent progress in glutamate receptor research with special emphasis on the molecular diversity of this receptor system and its implications for neuronal development and synaptic plasticity.

Keywords

Glutamate Receptor Synaptic Plasticity Glutamatergic Synapse Postnatal Development NR2B Subunit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:

ABP

AMPAR-binding protein

AMPA

α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate

CaMKII

Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II

CNS

central nervous system

GABA

γ-aminobutyric acid

GRIP1

glutamate receptor interacting protein 1

iGluR

ionotropic glutamate receptor

IP3

inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate

LTD

long-term depression

LTP

long-term potentiation

mGluR

metabotropic glutamate receptor

MLCK

myosin light-chain kinase

NMDA

N-methyl-D-aspartate

NSF

N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor

PI3K

phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase

PICK1

protein interacting with C-kinase 1

PKA

protein kinase A

PKC

protein kinase C

PLC

phospholipase C

PSD

postsynaptic density

RT-PCR

reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction

SAP

synapse-associated protein

Notes

Acknowledgment

The author is grateful to the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust for financial support.

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  • E. Molnár

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