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The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Molecular mechanisms contributing to TARP regulation of channel conductance and polyamine block of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors.


PMID 25164663

Abstract

Many properties of fast synaptic transmission in the brain are influenced by transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) that modulate the pharmacology and gating of AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs). Although much is known about TARP influence on AMPAR pharmacology and kinetics through their modulation of the extracellular ligand-binding domain (LBD), less is known about their regulation of the ion channel region. TARP-induced modifications in AMPAR channel behavior include increased single-channel conductance and weakened block of calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs) by endogenous intracellular polyamines. To investigate how TARPs modify ion flux and channel block, we examined the action of γ-2 (stargazin) on GluA1 and GluA4 CP-AMPARs. First, we compared the permeation of organic cations of different sizes. We found that γ-2 increased the permeability of several cations but not the estimated AMPAR pore size, suggesting that TARP-induced relief of polyamine block does not reflect altered pore diameter. Second, to determine whether residues in the TARP intracellular C-tail regulate polyamine block and channel conductance, we examined various γ-2 C-tail mutants. We identified the membrane proximal region of the C terminus as crucial for full TARP-attenuation of polyamine block, whereas complete deletion of the C-tail markedly enhanced the TARP-induced increase in channel conductance; thus, the TARP C-tail influences ion permeation. Third, we identified a site in the pore-lining region of the AMPAR, close to its Q/R site, that is crucial in determining the TARP-induced changes in single-channel conductance. This conserved residue represents a site of TARP action, independent of the AMPAR LBD.