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FEBS Lett. 1991 May 20;283(1):73-7.

Alternative splicing generates two isoforms of the alpha 2 subunit of the inhibitory glycine receptor.

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Zentrum für Molekulaire Biologie Heidelberg, Universität Heidelberg, Germany.


The inhibitory glycine receptor (GlyR) is a ligand-gated chloride channel protein which displays developmental heterogeneity in the mammalian central nervous system. Here we describe 2 novel cDNA variants of the rat GlyR alpha 2 subunit and demonstrate that alternative splicing generates these 2 isoforms. The deduced protein sequences (alpha 2A and alpha 2B) exhibit 99% identity with the previously characterized human alpha 2 subunit. In situ hybridization revealed expression of both alpha 2A and alpha 2B mRNAs in the prenatal rat brain, suggesting that these variant proteins may have a role in synaptogenesis. Heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes showed that the more abundantly expressed alpha 2A subunit forms strychnine-sensitive ion channels which resemble human alpha 2 subunit GlyRs in their electrophysiological properties.

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