A family of glutamate receptor genes: evidence for the formation of heteromultimeric receptors with distinct channel properties

Neuron. 1990 Nov;5(5):569-81. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(90)90212-x.


We have isolated two cDNA clones (GluR-K2 and GluR-K3) that share considerable sequence identity with the previously described glutamate receptor subunit, GluR-K1. The three glutamate receptor subunits show significant sequence conservation with the glutamine binding component of the glutamine permease of E. coli. Each of these clones encodes a channel responsive to both kainate and AMPA. The coexpression of GluR-K2 with either GluR-K3 or GluR-K1 results in the formation of channels whose current-voltage relationships differ from those of the individual subunits alone and more closely approximate the properties of kainate receptors in neurons. These observations indicate that the kainate/quisqualate receptors are encoded by a family of genes and are likely to be composed of hetero-oligomers of at least two distinct subunits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Transport Systems, Basic*
  • Animals
  • Electrophysiology
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Glutamates / metabolism
  • Ion Channels / drug effects
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Kainic Acid / metabolism
  • Kainic Acid / pharmacology
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Glutamate
  • Receptors, Kainic Acid
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / chemistry
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / genetics*
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / physiology
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid


  • Amino Acid Transport Systems, Basic
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Glutamates
  • Ion Channels
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Receptors, Glutamate
  • Receptors, Kainic Acid
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • glnP protein, E coli
  • glutamine permease
  • Kainic Acid

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X54655
  • GENBANK/X54656