Mapping of the alpha 4 subunit gene (GABRA4) to human chromosome 4 defines an alpha 2-alpha 4-beta 1-gamma 1 gene cluster: further evidence that modern GABAA receptor gene clusters are derived from an ancestral cluster

Genomics. 1995 Apr 10;26(3):580-6. doi: 10.1016/0888-7543(95)80178-o.


We demonstrated previously that an alpha 1-beta 2-gamma 2 gene cluster of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptor is located on human chromosome 5q34-q35 and that an ancestral alpha-beta-gamma gene cluster probably spawned clusters on chromosomes 4, 5, and 15. Here, we report that the alpha 4 gene (GABRA4) maps to human chromosome 4p14-q12, defining a cluster comprising the alpha 2, alpha 4, beta 1, and gamma 1 genes. The existence of an alpha 2-alpha 4-beta 1-gamma 1 cluster on chromosome 4 and an alpha 1-alpha 6-beta 2-gamma 2 cluster on chromosome 5 provides further evidence that the number of ancestral GABAA receptor subunit genes has been expanded by duplication within an ancestral gene cluster. Moreover, if duplication of the alpha gene occurred before duplication of the ancestral gene cluster, then a heretofore undiscovered subtype of alpha subunit should be located on human chromosome 15q11-q13 within an alpha 5-alpha x-beta 3-gamma 3 gene cluster at the locus for Angelman and Prader-Willi syndromes.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 15
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 4*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 5
  • DNA
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, GABA-A / genetics*


  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U20166