Cloning of the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) ρ1 cDNA: A GABA receptor subunit highly expressed in the retina

G. R. Cutting, L. Lu, B. F. O'Hara, L. M. Kasch, C. Montrose-Rafizadeh, D. M. Donovan, S. Shimada, S. E. Antonarakis, W. B. Guggino, G. R. Uhl, H. H. Kazazian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Type A γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA(A)) receptors are a family of ligand-gated chloride channels that are the major inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors in the nervous system. Molecular cloning has revealed diversity in the subunits that compose this heterooligomeric receptor, but each previously elucidated subunit displays amino acid similarity in conserved structural elements. We have used these highly conserved regions to identify additional members of this family by using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). One PCR product was used to isolate a full-length cDNA from a human retina cDNA library. The mature protein predicted from this cDNA sequence is 458 amino acids long and displays between 30 and 38% amino acid similarity to the previously identified GABA(A) subunits. This gene is expressed primarily in the retina but transcripts are also detected in the brain, lung, and thymus. Injection of Xenopus oocytes with RNA transcribed in vitro produces a GABA-responsive chloride conductance and expression of the cDNA in COS cells yields GABA-displaceable muscimol binding. These features are consistent with our identification of a GABA subunit, GABA ρ1, with prominent retinal expression that increases the diversity and tissue specificity of this ligand-gated ion-channel receptor family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2673-2677
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1991


  • chloride channels
  • gene family
  • ligand-gated ion-channel receptors
  • oocyte expression
  • polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cloning of the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) ρ<sub>1</sub> cDNA: A GABA receptor subunit highly expressed in the retina'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this