GABAB receptors couple directly to the transcription factor ATF4

EG Vernon, GG Meyer, LA Pickard, KK Dev, E Molnar, GL Collingridge, JM Henley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


The inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), acts at ionotropic (GABA(A) and GABA(C)) and metabotropic (GABA(B)) receptors. Functional GABA(B) receptors are heterodimers of GABA(B(1)) and GABA(B(2)) subunits. Here we show a robust, direct, and specific interaction between the coiled-coil domain present in the C-terminus of the GABA(B(1)) subunit and the transcription factor ATF4 (also known as CREB2). ATF4 and GABA(B(2)) binding to the GABA(B(1)) subunit were mutually exclusive. In rat hippocampal neurons native GABA(B(1)) showed surprisingly little similarity to GABA(B(2)) in its subcellular distribution. GABA(B(1)) and ATF4, however, were highly colocalized throughout the cell and displayed a punctate distribution within the dendrites. Activation of GABA(B) receptors in hippocampal neurons caused a dramatic translocation of ATF4 out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm. These data suggest a novel neuronal signaling pathway that could regulate the functional expression of GABA(B) receptors and/or modulate gene transcription.
Translated title of the contributionGABAB receptors couple directly to the transcription factor ATF4
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637 - 645
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2001

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