News of the WeekNeurobiology

Filling in the Blanks of The GABAB Receptor

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Science  01 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5398, pp. 14-15
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5398.14

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The neurotransmitter known as GABA (for g-aminobutyric acid) is the brain's principle calming influence. Now, four research teams, one of which reports its results on page 74, have shed new light on how GABA works by showing that one of the receptors through which it exerts its effects, the GABAreceptor, consists of two different protein chains. The discovery offers greater opportunities for drug design, as researchers can now target each protein separately as well as the receptor as a whole.