Postsynaptic clustering of major GABAA receptor subtypes requires the gamma 2 subunit and gephyrin

Nat Neurosci. 1998 Nov;1(7):563-71. doi: 10.1038/2798.


Most fast inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain is mediated by GABAA receptors, which are mainly postsynaptic and consist of diverse alpha and beta subunits together with the gamma 2 subunit. Although the gamma 2 subunit is not necessary for receptor assembly and translocation to the cell surface, we show here that it is required for clustering of major postsynaptic GABAA receptor subtypes. Loss of GABAA receptor clusters in mice deficient in the gamma 2 subunit, and in cultured cortical neurons from these mice, is paralleled by loss of the synaptic clustering molecule gephyrin and synaptic GABAergic function. Conversely, inhibiting gephyrin expression causes loss of GABAA receptor clusters. The gamma 2 subunit and gephyrin are thus interdependent components of the same synaptic complex that is critical for postsynaptic clustering of abundant subtypes of GABAA receptors in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chimera
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Isomerism
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Receptor Aggregation / physiology*
  • Receptors, GABA-A / physiology*
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • Synapses / physiology


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • gephyrin