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The role of GABAA receptor biogenesis, structure and function in epilepsy

The role of GABAA receptor biogenesis, structure and function in epilepsy

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-867
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2006
EventBioscience 2006: Bioscience for the 21st Century - Glasgow, United Kingdom


Maintaining the correct balance in neuronal activation is of paramount importance to normal brain function. imbalances due to changes in excitation or inhibition can lead to a variety of disorders ranging from the clinically extreme (e.g. epilepsy) to the more subtle (e.g. anxiety). in the brain, the most common inhibitory synapses are regulated by GABA(A) (gamma-aminobutyric acid type A) receptors, a role commensurate with their importance as therapeutic targets. Remarkably, we still know relatively little about GABAA receptor biogenesis. Receptors are constructed as pentameric ion channels, with alpha and beta subunits being the minimal requirement, and the incorporation of a gamma subunit being necessary for benzodiazepine modulation and synaptic targeting. insights have been provided by the discovery of several specific assembly signals within different GABA(A) receptor subunits. Moreover, a number of recent studies on GABA(A) receptor mutations associated with epilepsy have further enhanced our understanding of GABA(A) receptor biogenesis, structure and function.

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