GARLH Family Proteins Stabilize GABAA Receptors at Synapses

Tokiwa Yamasaki, Erika Hoyos-Ramirez, James S. Martenson, Megumi Morimoto-Tomita, Susumu Tomita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


Ionotropic neurotransmitter receptors mediate fast synaptic transmission by functioning as ligand-gated ion channels. Fast inhibitory transmission in the brain is mediated mostly by ionotropic GABAA receptors (GABAARs), but their essential components for synaptic localization remain unknown. Here, we identify putative auxiliary subunits of GABAARs, which we term GARLHs, consisting of LH4 and LH3 proteins. LH4 forms a stable tripartite complex with GABAARs and neuroligin-2 in the brain. Moreover, LH4 is required for the synaptic localization of GABAARs and inhibitory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. Our findings propose GARLHs as the first identified auxiliary subunits for anion channels. These findings provide new insights into the regulation of inhibitory transmission and the molecular constituents of native anion channels in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1138-1152.e6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 8
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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