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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2016 Jun;17(6):337-50. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2016.37. Epub 2016 Apr 15.

Synaptic AMPA receptor composition in development, plasticity and disease.

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School of Biochemistry, Centre for Synaptic Plasticity, Biomedical Sciences Building, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TD, UK.


AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are assemblies of four core subunits, GluA1-4, that mediate most fast excitatory neurotransmission. The component subunits determine the functional properties of AMPARs, and the prevailing view is that the subunit composition also determines AMPAR trafficking, which is dynamically regulated during development, synaptic plasticity and in response to neuronal stress in disease. Recently, the subunit dependence of AMPAR trafficking has been questioned, leading to a reappraisal of this field. In this Review, we discuss what is known, uncertain, conjectured and unknown about the roles of the individual subunits, and how they affect AMPAR assembly, trafficking and function under both normal and pathological conditions.

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