We demonstrate in our current work that TARP y4 most robustly increases ampakine affinity for Glur1-flip receptors while TARP y8 most robustly increases ampakine affinity for Glur2-flop receptors.
Transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) govern AMPA receptor cell surface expression and distinct physiological properties including agonist affinity, desensitization and deactivation kinetics. The prototypical TARP, STG or γ2 and TARPs γ3, γ4, γ7 and γ8 are all expressed to varying degrees in the mammalian brain and differentially regulate AMPAR gating parameters. Positive allosteric AMPA receptor modulators or ampakines alter receptor rates of agonist binding/unbinding, channel opening and can offset receptor desensitization and deactivation. The effects of the two ampakines, CX614 and cyclothiazide (CTZ) were evaluated on homomeric GluR1-flip receptors and GluR2-flop receptors expressed on HEK293 cells by transient transfection with or without different TARPs γ2, γ3, γ4 or γ8 genes. γ4 was the most robust TARP in increasing the affinities of CX614 and CTZ on GluR1-flip receptors, but had no such effect on GluR2-flop receptors. However, γ8 gave the most significant increases in affinities of CX614 and CTZ on GluR2-flop. These data show that TARPs differentially affect the surface expression and kinetics of the AMPA receptor, as well as the pharmacology of ampakines for the AMPA receptor. The modulatory effects of TARPs on ampakine pharmacology are complex, being dependent on both the TARP subtype and the AMPA receptor subtypes/isoforms.