Molecular diversity of the NMDA receptor channel

Abstract

Two novel subunits of the mouse NMDA receptor channel, the ɛ2 and ɛ3 subunits, have been identified by cloning and expression of complementary DMAs. The heteromeric ɛ1/ζ1, ɛ2/ζ1 and ɛ3/ζ1 NMDA receptor channels exhibit distinct functional properties in affinities for agonists and sensitivities to competitive antagonists and Mg2+ block. In contrast to the wide distribution of the ɛ1 and ζ1 subunit messenger RNAs in the brain, the ɛ2 subunit mRNA is expressed only in the forebrain and the ɛ3 subunit mRNA is found predominantly in the cerebellum. The ɛl/ζ1 and ɛ2/ζ1 channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes, but not the ɛ3/ζ1 channel, are activated by treatment with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate. These findings suggest that the molecular diversity of the ɛ subunit family underlies the functional heterogeneity of the NMDA receptor channel.

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Kutsuwada, T., Kashiwabuchi, N., Mori, H. et al. Molecular diversity of the NMDA receptor channel. Nature 358, 36–41 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1038/358036a0

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