Glutamate Receptors


Glutamate receptors mediate most of the excitatory neurotransmission in the central nervous system. They are also involved in plastic changes in synaptic transmission and neuronal cell death in a variety of acute and chronic neurological disorders. Twenty‚Äźfive subunit complementary DNAs have been cloned in rodent brains and 24 genes have been identified in the human genome.

Keywords: AMPA; kainate; NMDA; orphan; metabotropic receptor

Figure 1.

Structure of glutamate receptors. Glutamate receptors are divided into two categories; ionotropic receptors (left) and metabotropic receptors (right). The ionotropic receptors constitute multisubunit protein complexes that form ligand‐gated ion channels and allow cation flow through the cell membrane. Ionotropic receptors subunits have a large extracellular N‐terminal domain and four hydrophobic domains (M1–M4). M1, M3 and M4 are transmembrane domains, whereas M2 makes a cytoplasm‐facing reentrant membrane loop and does not span the membrane. In contrast, metabotropic receptors are single‐subunit proteins coupled to GTP‐binding proteins. They have a large N‐terminal region, seven transmembrane domains and a C‐terminus.



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Further Reading

Armstrong N, Sun Y, Chen G‐Q and Gouaux E (1998) Structure of a glutamate receptor ligand‐binding core in complex with kainate. Nature 395: 913–917.

Chen C and Tonegawa S (1997) Molecular genetic analysis of synaptic plasticity, activity‐dependent neural development, learning, and memory in the mammalian brain. Annual Review of Neuroscience 20: 157–184.

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Kohda K, Wang Y and Yuzaki M (2000) Mutation of a glutamate receptor motif reveals its role in gating and δ2 receptor channel properties. Nature Neuroscience 3: 315–322.

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Schmitz D, Mellor J and Nicoll RA (2001) Presynaptic kainate receptor mediation of frequency facilitation at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. Science 291: 1972–1976.

Sommer B, Köhler M, Sprengel R and Seeburg PH (1991) RNA editing in brain controls a determinant of ion flow in glutamate‐gated channels. Cell 67: 11–19.

Wo ZG and Oswald RE (1995) Unraveling the modular design of glutamate‐gated ion channels. Trends in Neuroscience 18: 161–168.

Web Links

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)

Glutamate receptor, ionotropic, AMPA 1 (GRIA1); Locus ID: 2890. LocusLink:

Glutamate receptor, ionotropic, delta 1 (GRID1); Locus ID: 2894. LocusLink:

Glutamate receptor, ionotropic, kainate 1 (GRIK1); Locus ID: 2897. LocusLink:

Glutamate receptor, ionotropic, N‐methyl D‐aspartate 1 (GRIN1); Locus ID: 2902. LocusLink:

Glutamate receptor, metabotropic 1 (GRM1); Locus ID: 2911. LocusLink:

Glutamate receptor, ionotropic, AMPA 1 (GRIA1); MIM number: 138248. OMIM:

Glutamate receptor, ionotropic, kainate 1 (GRIK1); MIM number: 138245. OMIM:‐post/Omim/dispmim?138245

Glutamate receptor, ionotropic, N‐methyl D‐aspartate 1 (GRIN1); MIM number: 138249. OMIM:‐post/Omim/dispmim?138249

Glutamate receptor, metabotropic 1 (GRM1); MIM number: 604473. OMIM:‐post/Omim/dispmim?604473

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How to Cite close
Tsuzuki, Keisuke, and Ozawa, Seiji(Sep 2005) Glutamate Receptors. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005056]