Developmental Aspects of Diversity

The GluR1-4 subunits and their molecular variants (Figure 2) appear to follow specific ontogenetic, regional, and disease-specific patterns presumably to meet the current needs of the organism. For example, the edited (i.e., calcium ion impermeable) form of GluR2 becomes increasingly prevalent with maturity, as required to restrict calcium ion flux through the AMPA-type channels. Vulnerability to the development of seizure disorders is hypothesized to be related to the lower concentrations of edited GluR2 early in development. The flip and flop isoforms are also observed to follow developmental lines. Flip forms are more prevalent before birth and continue their expression into adulthood in rodents, whereas flop forms begin at low levels of expression until postnatal day 8 and then upregulate to a level similar to the flip variants. The flip forms tend to desensitize more slowly and to a lesser degree than flop forms.

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