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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Nov 23;96(24):14112-7.

Dynamin-dependent endocytosis of ionotropic glutamate receptors.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


Little is known about the mechanisms that regulate the number of ionotropic glutamate receptors present at excitatory synapses. Herein, we show that GluR1-containing alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors (AMPARs) are removed from the postsynaptic plasma membrane of cultured hippocampal neurons by rapid, ligand-induced endocytosis. Although endocytosis of AMPARs can be induced by high concentrations of AMPA without concomitant activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors (NMDARs), NMDAR activation is required for detectable endocytosis induced by synaptically released glutamate. Activated AMPARs colocalize with AP2, a marker of endocytic coated pits, and endocytosis of AMPARs is blocked by biochemical inhibition of clathrin-coated pit function or overexpression of a dominant-negative mutant form of dynamin. These results establish that ionotropic receptors are regulated by dynamin-dependent endocytosis and suggest an important role of endocytic membrane trafficking in the postsynaptic modulation of neurotransmission.

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