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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2002 Feb;19(2):138-51.

Reduced cortical synaptic plasticity and GluR1 expression associated with fragile X mental retardation protein deficiency.

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Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Toronto Western Research Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5T 2S8, Canada.


Lack of expression of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), due to silencing of the FMR1 gene, causes the Fragile X syndrome. Although FMRP was characterized previously to be an RNA binding protein, little is known about its function or the mechanisms underlying the Fragile X syndrome. Here we report that the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate receptor subunit, GluR1, was decreased in the cortical synapses, but not in the hippocampus or cerebellum, of FMR1 gene knockout mice. Reduced long-term potentiation (LTP) was also found in the cortex but not in the hippocampus. Another RNA binding protein, FXR; the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit, NR2; and other learning-related proteins including c-fos, synapsin, myelin proteolipid protein, and cAMP response element binding protein were not different between FMR1 gene knockout and wild-type mice. These findings suggest that the depressed cortical GluR1 expression and LTP associated with FMRP deficiency could contribute to the Fragile X phenotype.

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