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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2007 Feb;34(2):219-30. Epub 2006 Dec 15.

Localization of glutamate receptors to distal dendrites depends on subunit composition and the kinesin motor protein KIF17.

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Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, PO Box 85800, La Jolla, CA 92186-5800, USA.


Correct glutamate receptor localization in neurons is crucial for neurotransmission in the brain. Here we investigated the mechanisms underlying localization of kainate GluR5 receptors to dendrites in cultured hippocampal neurons. We find that the GluR5 distribution depends on association with GluR6 and KA2 subunits. The GluR5 subunit was expressed in distal dendrites only when GluR6 and KA2 subunits were present, whereas it was restricted to proximal dendrites in the absence of these subunits. The overlap between GluR5 distribution and the organization of microtubules in dendrites led us to examine whether KIF17, a microtubule motor protein expressed in distal dendrites, is involved in GluR5 localization to distal dendrites. We show here, for the first time that the microtubule motor protein KIF17 interacts with GluR6 and KA2 subunits and is required for GluR5 localization to distal dendrites, defining a novel mechanism that controls receptor localization in neurons.

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