Delta Glutamate Receptors


in Excitatory Amino Acid Transmission in Health and Disease

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780195150025
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199865079 | DOI:
Delta Glutamate Receptors

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The δ glutamate receptors, δ1 and δ2 (GluRδl and GluRδ2), were cloned more than 10 years ago and, on the basis of amino acid sequence similarity, were classified as ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs). Nevertheless, their properties and function are not yet well defined, because they do not form Glu-gated functional ion channels when expressed either alone or with other iGluRs, and they do not bind Glu or any of the known excitatory amino acid receptor ligands. However, it is believed that the δ2 receptors play important roles in the cerebellum and the δl receptors in the auditory and vestibular system. The δ2 receptor is critical for the development of neuronal circuits in the cerebellum and cerebellar functions, including long-term depression and learning and memory. The underlying mechanism involves the regulation of trafficking of AMPA receptors. A gain-of-function mutation results in constitutively active GluRδ2 ion channels with properties similar to those of AMPA/kainate receptors. This mutation has provided important insight into gating mechanisms in iGluRs in general and has highlighted the important role of excitotoxicity in neuropathological processes.

Keywords: ionotropic glutamate receptors; AMPA receptors; gain-of-function mutation; excitotoxicity; cerebellum; long-term depression

Chapter.  1954 words. 

Subjects: Neuroscience

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