Ionotropic Receptors

3.1. Ionotropic Receptor Classes and Their Subunits

The main features of ionotropic glutamate receptors will be discussed here. Additional information can be found in more extensive reviews (e.g. refs. 3, 27, and 28). Studies on glutamate receptor knock-out and transgenic mice are summarized in other reviews (29,30) and information on the ionotropic glutamate receptor promoters can be found in ref. 30. The mammalian ionotropic glutamate receptors are divided into three classes according to their subunit composition and pharmacology. They are named after their high-affinity agonists: AMPA receptors containing the GluRl-4 or GluRA-D subunits; kainate receptors comprising GluR5-7, KA1, and KA2 subunits; and N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors with the subunits NR1, NR2A-D, and NR3A (Table 2). The two distantly related orphan receptors, 81 and 82, do not form functional homomeric channels. However, neurodegeneration in the Lurcher mouse is caused by a 82 mutation that produces a constitutively active, Ca2+-permeable channel resembling an AMPA or kainate receptor (31,32).

Table 3

Subunits That Were Coimmunoprecipitated from Various Brain Regions

Location Subunits Reference Ref. no.

Table 3

Subunits That Were Coimmunoprecipitated from Various Brain Regions

Location Subunits Reference Ref. no.

Forebrain

NR1 + NR2A + NR2B

Chazot and Stephenson, 1997

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