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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The Lurcher mutation of an alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl- 4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor subunit enhances potency of glutamate and converts an antagonist to an agonist.

A point mutation of the GluRdelta2 (A654T) glutamate receptor subunit converts it into a functional channel, and a spontaneous mutation at this site is thought to be responsible for the neurodegeneration of neurons in the Lurcher mouse. This mutation is located in a hydrophobic region of the M3 domain of this subunit, and this alanine is conserved throughout many of the glutamate receptors. We show here that site-directed mutagenesis of the homologous alanine (A636T; GluR1-L(c)) in the GluR1 AMPA receptor subunit alters its channel properties. The apparent potencies of both kainate and glutamate were increased 85- and 2000-fold, respectively. Furthermore, 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX)was converted from a competitive antagonist into a potent agonist. Our results demonstrate that a single amino acid within or near the putative second transmembrane region of the GluR1 subunit is critical for the binding/gating properties of this AMPA receptor.[1]


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