Roles of the N-terminal domain on the function and quaternary structure of the ionotropic glutamate receptor

Shinji Matsuda, Yoshinori Kamiya, Michisuke Yuzaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) subtype of ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) mediates fast excitatory neurotransmission in the mammalian brain. Although the most N-terminal leucine/isoleucine/valine-binding protein (LIVBP) domain is suggested to play a role in the initial assembly of iGluR subunits, it is unclear how this domain is arranged and functions in intact iGluRs. Similarly, although recent crystallographic analyses indicate that the isolated ligand-binding lysine/arginine/ornithine-binding protein domain forms a 2-fold symmetric dimer, the subunit stoichiometry of intact iGluRs remains elusive. Here, we developed a new approach to address these issues. The LIVBP domain of the GIuR1 subunit of AMPA receptors was replaced by leucine-zipper peptides designed to form stable symmetric dimers, trimers, tetramers, or pentamers. All these mutant GluR1s were expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells and were transported to the cell surface as well as wild type GluR1. Functional and biochemical analyses indicated that these oligomerizing peptides specifically controlled the formation of the expected number of subunits in a channel complex. However, the channel function was only restored by the tetramer-forming peptide. Although the purified LIVBP domain of GluR1 formed a dimmer in solution, a dimer-forming peptide could not restore the function of GluR1. Moreover, a cross-linking assay indicated that four LIVBP domains are located in proximity to each other. These results suggest that the function of the LIVBP domain is not simply to form initial dimers but to adopt a conformation compatible with the overall tetrameric arrangement of subunits in intact AMPA receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20021-20029
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2005 May 20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Roles of the N-terminal domain on the function and quaternary structure of the ionotropic glutamate receptor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this