Glutamate Receptor Auxiliary Subunits and Interacting Protein Partners in the Cerebellum
AMPA- and kainate-type glutamate receptors play a central role in excitatory signaling and synaptic plasticity in the cerebellum. Considerable attention has therefore focused on the molecular mechanisms involved in the dynamic control of these receptors and their constituent subunits. A number of transmembrane and intracellular proteins have emerged as key molecular determinants of AMPA and kainate receptor behavior.
Much of the early information on transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) arose from experiments on cerebellar neurons in stargazer mice. Although it is clear that the TARPs regulate AMPAR properties throughout the brain, the cerebellum continues to be a particularly suitable brain region for studies on the functional role of TARPs and many of the other receptor-associated proteins. This chapter focuses on the AMPA and kainate receptor subtypes and subunits present in the main cerebellar neurons and glia. In particular, we will consider recent evidence for the dynamic regulation of these receptor subunits by transmembrane and intracellular protein partners – in relation to cerebellar synaptic transmission and plasticity.
KeywordsPurkinje Cell Kainate Receptor Bergmann Glia Auxiliary Subunit AMPAR Subunit
We are grateful to the Wellcome Trust, the MRC and the Royal Society for support, and to our colleagues for invaluable discussions.
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