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J Biol Chem. 2011 Apr 15;286(15):13134-42. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.212522. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

Transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins and cornichon-2 allosterically regulate AMPA receptor antagonists and potentiators.

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Discovery Neuroscience Research, Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly Corporate Center, Indianapolis, Indiana 46285, USA.


AMPA receptors mediate fast excitatory transmission in the brain. Neuronal AMPA receptors comprise GluA pore-forming principal subunits and can associate with multiple modulatory components, including transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) and CNIHs (cornichons). AMPA receptor potentiators and non-competitive antagonists represent potential targets for a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. Previous studies showed that the AMPA receptor antagonist GYKI-53655 displaces binding of a potentiator from brain receptors but not from recombinant GluA subunits. Here, we asked whether AMPA receptor modulatory subunits might resolve this discrepancy. We find that the cerebellar TARP, stargazin (γ-2), enhances the binding affinity of the AMPA receptor potentiator [(3)H]-LY450295 and confers sensitivity to displacement by non-competitive antagonists. In cerebellar membranes from stargazer mice, [(3)H]-LY450295 binding is reduced and relatively resistant to displacement by non-competitive antagonists. Coexpression of AMPA receptors with CNIH-2, which is expressed in the hippocampus and at low levels in the cerebellar Purkinje neurons, confers partial sensitivity of [(3)H]-LY450295 potentiator binding to displacement by non-competitive antagonists. Autoradiography of [(3)H]-LY450295 binding to stargazer and γ-8-deficient mouse brain sections, demonstrates that TARPs regulate the pharmacology of allosteric AMPA potentiators and antagonists in the cerebellum and hippocampus, respectively. These studies demonstrate that accessory proteins define AMPA receptor pharmacology by functionally linking allosteric AMPA receptor potentiator and antagonist sites.

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