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Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors and Auxiliary Proteins

Mini Symposium 11 Décembre - CGFB Bordeaux University

Le 11 décembre 2013

Organizers : Anne-Sophie Hafner & Daniel Choquet
Anne Sophie Hafner  , doctorante à l' IINS - Interdisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience in Bordeaux

During the mini-symposium, the speakers will introduce many ways to study the composition of glutamate receptor macromolecular complexes and the impact of different auxiliary subunits on the receptor properties using various technical approaches from biochemistry to electrophysiology and high resolution proteomics.

Glutamate is the most commonly used neurotransmitter at excitatory synapses in the central nervous system (CNS). After release from presynaptic nerve terminals, glutamate binds to postsynaptic ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) to mediate excitatory synaptic transmission. These iGluRs are tetrameric cation channels consisting of three distinct subtypes: AMPA, NMDA and kainate receptors. In the last 15 years, our picture of iGluRs has evolved from relatively simple isolated tetramers to a large variety of dynamic macromolecular complexes, interacting with an ever-expanding litany of other proteins that can regulate their trafficking, scaffolding, stability, signaling, and turnover. In this macromolecular complex, auxiliary subunits are non-pore-forming subunits that interact directly and in a stable manner with the mature receptor. Considering the major role of iGluRs in learning and memory, resolving their macromolecular composition should shed light on still unresolved molecular mechanisms for information storage in the brain.