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Neuron. 1998 Sep;21(3):571-80.

Role of the carboxy-terminal region of the GluR epsilon2 subunit in synaptic localization of the NMDA receptor channel.

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Department of Molecular Neurobiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The synaptic localization of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) type glutamate receptor (GluR) channel is a prerequisite for synaptic plasticity in the brain. We generated mutant mice carrying the carboxy-terminal truncated GluR epsilon2 subunit of the NMDA receptor channel. The mutant mice died neonatally and failed to form barrelette structures in the brainstem. The mutation greatly decreased the NMDA receptor-mediated component of hippocampal excitatory postsynaptic potentials and punctate immunofluorescent labelings of GluR epsilon2 protein in the neuropil regions, while GluR epsilon2 protein expression was comparable. Immunostaining of cultured cerebral neurons showed the reduced punctate staining of the truncated GluR epsilon2 protein at synapses. These results suggest that the carboxy-terminal region of the GluRepsilon2 subunit is important for efficient clustering and synaptic localization of the NMDA receptor channel.

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