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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2012 May 18;13(6):380-94. doi: 10.1038/nrn3249.

Regulation of neuronal GABA(B) receptor functions by subunit composition.

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Department of Biomedicine, Institute of Physiology, University of Basel, Klingelbergstr. 50-70, 4056 Basel, Switzerland.


GABA(B) receptors (GABA(B)Rs) are G protein-coupled receptors for GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the CNS. In the past 5 years, notable advances have been made in our understanding of the molecular composition of these receptors. GABA(B)Rs are now known to comprise principal and auxiliary subunits that influence receptor properties in distinct ways. The principal subunits regulate the surface expression and the axonal versus dendritic distribution of these receptors, whereas the auxiliary subunits determine agonist potency and the kinetics of the receptor response. This Review summarizes current knowledge on how the subunit composition of GABA(B)Rs affects the distribution of these receptors, neuronal processes and higher brain functions.

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