Interactions between rho and gamma2 subunits of the GABA receptor

J Neurochem. 2005 Jul;94(2):482-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2005.03225.x.


The gamma-aminobutyric acid type C (GABA(C)) receptor is a ligand-gated chloride channel with distinct physiological and pharmacological properties. Although the exact subunit composition of native GABA(C) receptors has yet to be firmly established, there is general agreement that GABA rho subunits participate in their formation. Recent studies on white perch suggest that certain GABA rho subunits can co-assemble with the GABA(A) receptor gamma2 subunit to form a heteromeric receptor with electrophysiological properties that correspond more closely to the native GABA(C) receptor on retinal neurons than any of the homomeric rho receptors. In the present study we examined the interactions among various perch GABA rho and gamma2 subunits. When co-expressed in Xenopus oocytes, the gamma2 subunit co-immunoprecipitated with Flag-tagged perch rho1A, rho1B, and rho2B subunits, but not with the Flag-tagged perch rho2A subunit. Immunocytochemical studies indicated that the membrane surface expression of the gamma2 subunit was detected only when it was co-expressed with perch rho1A, rho1B, or rho2B subunit, but not with the perch rho2A subunit or when expressed alone. In addition, co-immunoprecipitation of perch rho1B and gamma2 subunits was also detected in protein samples of the teleost retina. Taken together, these findings suggest that a heteromeric rho(gamma2) receptor could represent one form of GABA(C) receptor on retinal neurons.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western / methods
  • Cloning, Molecular / methods
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Immunoprecipitation / methods
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Membrane Potentials / radiation effects
  • Microinjections / methods
  • Oocytes
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / methods
  • Perches
  • Protein Subunits / genetics
  • Protein Subunits / metabolism*
  • Receptors, GABA / chemistry
  • Receptors, GABA / drug effects
  • Receptors, GABA / genetics
  • Receptors, GABA / metabolism*
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Xenopus


  • Protein Subunits
  • Receptors, GABA