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Biol Chem. 2001 Aug;382(8):1111-22.

GABA(C) receptors: a molecular view.

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Emil-Fischer Zentrum, Institut für Biochemie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.


In the central nervous system inhibitory neurotransmission is primarily achieved through activation of receptors for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Three types of GABA receptors have been identified on the basis of their pharmacological and electrophysiological properties. The predominant type, termed GABA(A), and a recently identified GABA(C) type, form ligand-gated chloride channels, whereas GABA(B) receptors activate separate cation channels via G proteins. Based on their homology to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, GABA(C) receptors are believed to be oligomeric protein complexes composed of five subunits in a pentameric arrangement. To date up to five different GABA(C) receptors subunits have been identified in various species. Recent studies have shed new light on the biological characteristics of GABA(C) receptors, including the chromosomal localization of its subunit genes and resulting links to deseases, the cloning of new splice variants, the identification of GABA(C) receptor-associated proteins, the identification of domains involved in subunit assembly, and finally structure/function studies examining functional consequences of introduced mutations. This review summarizes recent data in view of the molecular structure of GABA(C) receptors and presents new insights into the biological function of this protein in the retina.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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