Medical Definition of Gamma aminobutyric acid receptor
Ligand gated chloride ion channel forming receptor opened by gamma aminobutyric acid. Two distinct types: A and B.
A receptor: One of a family of neurotransmitter receptors with fast intrinsic ion channels that includes the glycine receptor and the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Distinct from another major receptor family, the muscarininc acetylcholine receptor and rhodopsin, with no intrinsic ion channel. The A receptor is specifically blocked by bicuculline. It consists of two pairs of protein chains forming an A2B2 complex, the A chains bind benzodiazepine and the B chains bind GABA. The 4 subunits are thought to form a tight group with the chloride channel in the middle. There is considerable similarity between the amino acid sequences of the receptor subunits and those of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor suggesting that both receptors are derived from some evolutionary ancestor.
See: amino acid receptor superfamily.
B receptor: Brain receptor (80 kD) for the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma amino butyric acid. Differs from the A receptor both in agonist specificity (baclofen is a specific agonist) and its effects on cells. It modulates intracellular calcium levels through a Go mediated effect on N type calcium channels and also lowers intracellular cAMP levels by an effect on adenylyl cyclase, thereby reducing the secretion of catecholamines.
(05 Jan 1998)
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