Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2003 Oct 31;278(44):43525-32. Epub 2003 Aug 8.

Characterization of the intracellular transport of GluR1 and GluR2 alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor subunits in hippocampal neurons.

Author information

Medical Research Council Centre for Synaptic Plasticity, Department of Anatomy, University of Bristol, School of Medical Sciences, University Walk, Bristol BS8 1TD, United Kingdom.


Little is known about the dynamics of the dendritic transport of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptors (AMPARs) to synapses. Here, using virally expressed green fluorescent protein (GFP)-GluR1 and GFP-GluR2 and confocal photobleach techniques we show near real-time movement of these subunits in living cultured hippocampal neurons. GFP-GluR1 fluorescence was widely distributed throughout the extranuclear compartment with no evidence for discrete intracellular stores. GFP-GluR1 transport was predominantly proximal to distal at rates of 0.2-0.4 mum.s-1. GFP-GluR2 fluorescence was more punctate and localized at or close to the plasma membrane. Overall, GFP-GluR2 movement was less dynamic with distinct mobile and immobile pools. Neither activation nor inhibition of surface-expressed N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors or AMPARs had any significant effect on the rates of GFP-GluR1 or GFP-GluR2 dendritic transport. These results demonstrate that GluR1 is constitutively and rapidly transported throughout the neuron. GluR2, on the other hand, is less mobile, with a majority retained in relatively immobile membrane-associated clusters, with approximately 40% showing synaptic co-localization. Furthermore, the transport of both subunits is activity-independent, suggesting that the regulated delivery of AMPARs to the vicinity of synapses is not a mechanism that is involved in processes such as synaptic plasticity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center