The δ2 glutamate receptor (GluRδ2) plays a crucial role in cerebellar functions; mice with a disrupted GluR δ 2 gene (GluR δ 2-/-) display impaired synapse formation and abrogated long-term depression (LTD). However, the mechanisms by which GluRδ2 functions have remained unclear. Because a GluRδ2 mutation in lurcher mice causes channel activities characterized by Ca2+ permeability, GluRδ2 was previously suggested to serve as a Ca2+-permeable channel in Purkinje cells. To test this hypothesis, we introduced a GluRδ2 transgene, which had a mutation (Gln618Arg) in the putative channel pore, into GluRδ2-/- mice. Interestingly, the mutant transgene rescued the major functional and morphological abnormalities of GluRδ2-/- Purkinje cells, such as enhanced paired-pulse facilitation, impaired LTD at parallel fibre synapses, and sustained innervation by multiple climbing fibres. These results indicate that the conserved glutamine residue in the channel pore, which is crucial for all Ca2+-permeable glutamate receptors, is not essential for the function of GluRδ2.
ASJC Scopus subject areas