Differential vesicular sorting of AMPA and GABAA receptors

Yi Gu, Shu Ling Chiu, Bian Liu, Pei Hsun Wu, Michael Delannoy, Da Ting Lin, Denis Wirtz, Richard L. Huganir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


In mature neurons AMPA receptors cluster at excitatory synapses primarily on dendritic spines, whereas GABAA receptors cluster at inhibitory synapses mainly on the soma and dendritic shafts. The molecular mechanisms underlying the precise sorting of these receptors remain unclear. By directly studying the constitutive exocytic vesicles of AMPA and GABAA receptors in vitro and in vivo, we demonstrate that they are initially sorted into different vesicles in the Golgi apparatus and inserted into distinct domains of the plasma membrane. These insertions are dependent on distinct Rab GTPases and SNARE complexes. The insertion of AMPA receptors requires SNAP25-syntaxin1A/B-VAMP2 complexes, whereas insertion of GABAA receptors relies on SNAP23-syntaxin1A/B-VAMP2 complexes. These SNARE complexes affect surface targeting of AMPA or GABAA receptors and synaptic transmission. Our studies reveal vesicular sortingmechanisms controlling the constitutive exocytosis of AMPA and GABAA receptors, which are critical for the regulation of excitatory and inhibitory responses in neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E922-E931
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 16 2016


  • AMPA receptor
  • Constitutive exocytosis
  • GABAA receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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