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Mol Pharmacol. 2000 Oct;58(4):763-70.

Glycine receptor beta subunits play a critical role in potentiation of glycine responses by ICS-205,930.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Neurobiologie MolĂ©culaire et Cellulaire, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UMR-8544, Ecole Normale SupĂ©rieure, Paris, France.


The sensitivity of various types of recombinant glycine receptors (GlyRs) to ICS-205,930 was studied by fast perfusion in Xenopus laevis oocytes. This compound has previously been shown to potentiate glycine responses in rat spinal neurons between 10 nM and 1 microM, independently of its 5-HT(3) antagonist properties. In contrast, submicromolar concentrations of ICS-205,930 failed to affect responses of homomeric GlyRs formed from human alpha1 or alpha2 subunits, and micromolar concentrations (1-20 microM) acted differentially on the two types of homomeric receptors, potentiating the responses to glycine (10-20 microM) of alpha1 homomeric GlyRs and inhibiting the responses of alpha2 homomeric GlyRs. GlyRs beta subunits markedly influenced the modulations induced by ICS-205,930. In oocytes expressing alpha1/beta or alpha2/beta heteromeric GlyRs, low concentrations of ICS-205,930 (20 nM-1 microM) induced a potentiation of glycine responses that was counteracted by an inhibitory effect at higher concentrations. Thus, GlyRs beta subunits reduce by 2 orders of magnitude the concentration range potentiating alpha1-containing GlyRs and are required for potentiation of alpha2-containing GlyRs. These results reveal a new high-affinity potentiating site on GlyRs, to which beta subunits participate. The difference in ICS sensitivity between alpha1 and alpha2 GlyRs cannot be explained by their difference in TM2 segment and extracellular domains partly conserved between glycine and 5-HT(3) receptors are probably involved in the interaction of some 5-HT(3) antagonists with GlyRs.

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