Axon/dendrite targeting of metabotropic glutamate receptors by their cytoplasmic carboxy-terminal domains

Neuron. 1999 Mar;22(3):525-36. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80707-2.


The subcellular targeting of neurotransmitter receptors is vital in controlling polarized information flow in the brain. We show here that metabotropic glutamate receptors are differentially targeted when expressed from defective viral vectors in cultured hippocampal neurons; mGluR1a and mGluR2 are targeted to dendrites and excluded from axons, whereas mGluR7 is targeted to axons and dendrites. Chimeras and deletions revealed that axon exclusion of mGluR2 versus axon targeting of mGluR7 is mediated by their 60 amino acid C-terminal cytoplasmic domains. Addition of the mGluR7 C-terminal sequence to mGluR2 or to the unrelated somatodendritic protein telencephalin (tln) induced axon targeting, indicating dominance of the axonal signal. These mGluR sorting signals represent novel plasma membrane axon/dendrite targeting signals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism*
  • Cytoplasm / ultrastructure
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / genetics
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / physiology*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism
  • Subcellular Fractions / ultrastructure
  • Transfection


  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor 2
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor 7
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor type 1