GluR6/KA2 kainate receptors mediate slow-deactivating currents

J Neurosci. 2008 Jun 18;28(25):6402-6. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1204-08.2008.


Kainate receptors (KARs) are ionotropic glutamate receptors contributing to EPSCs with a slow-decaying component that is likely essential for synaptic integration. The slow kinetics of KAR-EPSCs markedly contrasts with the fast kinetics reported for recombinant KARs expressed in heterologous systems, for reasons that remain unexplained. Here we have studied the properties of recombinant heteromeric GluR6/KA2 receptors, which compose synaptic KARs. We report that, in response to brief glutamate applications, currents mediated by recombinant GluR6/KA2 receptors, but not GluR6 receptors, decay with a time course similar to KAR-EPSCs. Model simulations suggest that, after brief agonist exposures, GluR6/KA2 currents undergo slow deactivation caused by the stabilization of partially bound open states. We propose, therefore, that the GluR6/KA2 gating features could contribute to the slow KAR-EPSC decay kinetics.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Ion Channel Gating / physiology
  • Mossy Fibers, Hippocampal / physiology
  • Receptors, Kainic Acid / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • GRIK5 protein, human
  • Gluk2 kainate receptor
  • Receptors, Kainic Acid