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Proc Biol Sci 1999 Dec 07;2661436:2419-25. doi: 10.1098/rspb.1999.0941.
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Response kinetics and pharmacological properties of heteromeric receptors formed by coassembly of GABA rho- and gamma 2-subunits.

Qian H , Ripps H .

Two of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, GABAA and GABAC, are ligand-gated chloride channels expressed by neurons in the retina and throughout the central nervous system. The different subunit composition of these two classes of GABA receptor result in very different physiological and pharmacological properties. Although little is known at the molecular level as to the subunit composition of any native GABA receptor, it is thought that GABAC receptors are homomeric assemblies of rho-subunits. However, we found that the kinetic and pharmacological properties of homomeric receptors formed by each of the rho-subunits cloned from perch retina did not resemble those of the GABAC receptors on perch bipolar cells. Because both GABAA and GABAC receptors are present on retinal bipolar cells, we attempted to determine whether subunits of these two receptor classes are capable of interacting with each other. We report here that, when coexpressed in Xenopus oocytes, heteromeric (rho 1B gamma 2) receptors formed by coassembly of the rho 1B-subunit with the gamma 2-subunit of the GABAA receptor displayed response properties very similar to those obtained with current recordings from bipolar cells. In addition to being unresponsive to bicuculline and diazepam, the time-constant of deactivation, and the sensitivities to GABA, picrotoxin and zinc closely approximated the values obtained from the native GABAC receptors on bipolar cells. These results provide the first direct evidence of interaction between GABA rho and GABAA receptor subunits. It seems highly likely that coassembly of GABAA and rho-subunits contributes to the molecular organization of GABAC receptors in the retina and perhaps throughout the nervous system.

PubMed ID: 10643085
PMC ID: PMC1690471
Article link: Proc Biol Sci
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: gabarap rho rho.2

References [+] :
Albrecht, In situ hybridization and reverse transcription--polymerase chain reaction studies on the expression of the GABA(C) receptor rho1- and rho2-subunit genes in avian and rat brain. 1998, Pubmed