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Allosteric modulation of glycine receptors


Yévenes, G E; Zeilhofer, H U (2011). Allosteric modulation of glycine receptors. British Journal of Pharmacology, 164(2):224-236.

Abstract

Inhibitory (or strychnine-sensitive) glycine receptors (GlyRs) are anion-selective transmitter-gated ion channels of the cys-loop superfamily, which includes among others also the inhibitory γ-aminobutyric acid receptors (GABA(A) receptors). While GABA mediates fast inhibitory neurotransmission throughout the CNS, the action of glycine as a fast inhibitory neurotransmitter is more restricted. This probably explains why GABA(A) receptors constitute a group of extremely successful drug targets in the treatment of a wide variety of CNS diseases, including anxiety, sleep disorders, and epilepsy, while drugs specifically targeting glycine receptors are virtually lacking. However, the spatially more restricted distribution of glycinergic inhibition may be advantageous in situations when a more localized enhancement of inhibition is sought. Inhibitory GlyRs are particularly relevant for the control of excitability in the mammalian spinal cord, brain stem, and a few selected brain areas, such as the cerebellum and the retina. At these sites, GlyRs regulate important physiological functions, including respiratory rhythms, motor control, muscle tone and sensory as well as pain processing. In the hippocampus, RNA-edited high affinity extrasynaptic GlyRs may contribute to the pathology of temporal lobe epilepsy. Although specific modulators have not yet been identified, GlyRs still possess sites for allosteric modulation by a number of structurally diverse molecules, including alcohols, neurosteroids, cannabinoids, tropeines, general anaesthetics, certain neurotransmitters and cations. This review summarizes the present knowledge about this modulation and the molecular bases of the interactions involved.

Inhibitory (or strychnine-sensitive) glycine receptors (GlyRs) are anion-selective transmitter-gated ion channels of the cys-loop superfamily, which includes among others also the inhibitory γ-aminobutyric acid receptors (GABA(A) receptors). While GABA mediates fast inhibitory neurotransmission throughout the CNS, the action of glycine as a fast inhibitory neurotransmitter is more restricted. This probably explains why GABA(A) receptors constitute a group of extremely successful drug targets in the treatment of a wide variety of CNS diseases, including anxiety, sleep disorders, and epilepsy, while drugs specifically targeting glycine receptors are virtually lacking. However, the spatially more restricted distribution of glycinergic inhibition may be advantageous in situations when a more localized enhancement of inhibition is sought. Inhibitory GlyRs are particularly relevant for the control of excitability in the mammalian spinal cord, brain stem, and a few selected brain areas, such as the cerebellum and the retina. At these sites, GlyRs regulate important physiological functions, including respiratory rhythms, motor control, muscle tone and sensory as well as pain processing. In the hippocampus, RNA-edited high affinity extrasynaptic GlyRs may contribute to the pathology of temporal lobe epilepsy. Although specific modulators have not yet been identified, GlyRs still possess sites for allosteric modulation by a number of structurally diverse molecules, including alcohols, neurosteroids, cannabinoids, tropeines, general anaesthetics, certain neurotransmitters and cations. This review summarizes the present knowledge about this modulation and the molecular bases of the interactions involved.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:19 Jul 2011 10:48
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:57
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0007-1188
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.interscience.wiley.com
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01471.x
PubMed ID:21557733
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-48743

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