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Nat Neurosci. 2005 Nov;8(11):1525-33. Epub 2005 Oct 9.

TARP gamma-8 controls hippocampal AMPA receptor number, distribution and synaptic plasticity.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.


Synaptic plasticity involves activity-dependent trafficking of AMPA-type glutamate receptors. Numerous cytoplasmic scaffolding proteins are postulated to control AMPA receptor trafficking, but the detailed mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we show that the transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory protein (TARP) gamma-8, which is preferentially expressed in the mouse hippocampus, is important for AMPA receptor protein levels and extrasynaptic surface expression. By controlling the number of AMPA receptors, gamma-8 is also important in long-term potentiation, but not long-term depression. This study establishes gamma-8 as a critical protein for basal AMPA receptor expression and localization at extrasynaptic sites in the hippocampus and raises the possibility that TARP-dependent control of AMPA receptors during synapse development and plasticity may be widespread.

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