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The gamma-aminobutyric acidA (GABA)A receptor (GABAR) beta 1 and gamma 2L subtypes have been shown to be phosphorylated in vitro by protein kinase C (PKC) [J. Biol. Chem. 267:14470-14476 (1992); Neuron 12:1081-1095 (1994)]. To determine the physiological consequences of phosphorylation of GABAR isoforms containing the beta 1 and gamma 2L subtypes, the specific serine residues phosphorylated by PKC (beta 1 S409, gamma 2L S327 and S343) were changed to alanines through site-directed mutagenesis. Wild-type (alpha 1 beta 1 gamma 2L GABARs) and three mutant GABAR isoforms [alpha 1 beta 1 gamma 2L(S327A, S343A), alpha 1 beta 1(S409A) gamma 2L, and alpha 1 beta 1(S409A) gamma 2L(S327A, S343A) GABARs) were expressed in mouse L929 fibroblasts through transient cotransfection. Recordings were obtained from each cell with the use of the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. The initial recording was made with the use of control intrapipette solution, and a second recording from the same cell was obtained with pipettes containing either constitutively active PKC [protein kinase M (PKM)] or control solution to obtain paired GABA concentration-response relationships. All GABAR isoforms studied had equivalent maximal GABA currents and similar GABA concentration-response profiles under the control condition. Intracellular PKM treatment increased the maximal current and EC50 value in cells expressing wild-type GABARs. However, PKM reimpalement did not significantly change these parameters in cells expressing any of the mutant GABAR isoforms, indicating that the mutation of either the beta 1 or gamma 2L subtype alone was sufficient to prevent enhancement of GABAR current by PKM. No significant changes were obtained during control reimpalement recordings of wild-type or mutant receptors. Furthermore, PKM treatment did not after the time constants of GABA current desensitization kinetics measured from cells expressing wild-type or mutant receptors. These data thus suggest that PKC phosphorylation of the beta 1 and gamma 2L subtypes enhances GABAR current and that both subtypes are required for complete PKC-mediated enhancement of alpha 1 beta 1 gamma 2L GABAR current.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Mol Pharmacol

Publication Date

07/1996

Volume

50

Pages

185 - 195

Keywords

Alanine, Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Base Sequence, Cattle, Chloride Channels, DNA Primers, Kinetics, L Cells (Cell Line), Macromolecular Substances, Membrane Potentials, Mice, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutagenesis, Site-Directed, Patch-Clamp Techniques, Phosphorylation, Point Mutation, Protein Kinase C, Protein Multimerization, Receptors, GABA-A, Recombinant Proteins, Serine, Transfection, gamma-Aminobutyric Acid