Abstract

AMPA (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid) receptor channels mediate the fast component of excitatory postsynaptic currents in the central nervous system. Site-selective nuclear RNA editing controls the calcium permeability of these channels, and RNA editing at a second site is shown here to affect the kinetic aspects of these channels in rat brain. In three of the four AMPA receptor subunits (GluR-B, -C, and -D), intronic elements determine a codon switch (AGA, arginine, to GGA, glycine) in the primary transcripts in a position termed the R/G site, which immediately precedes the alternatively spliced modules "flip" and "flop." The extent of editing at this site progresses with brain development in a manner specific for subunit and splice form, and edited channels possess faster recovery rates from desensitization.

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