PMID: 2431244Nov 24, 1986

Barbiturate and benzodiazepine modulation of GABA receptor binding and function

Life Sciences
R W OlsenR W Ransom


The inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) acts primarily on receptors that increase chloride permeability in postsynaptic neurons. These receptors are defined by sensitivity to the agonist muscimol and the antagonist bicuculline, and are also subject to indirect allosteric inhibition by picrotoxin-like convulsants and enhancement by the clinically important drugs, the benzodiazepines and the barbiturates. All of these drugs modulate GABA-receptor regulated chloride channels at the cellular level assayed by electrophysiological or radioactive ion tracer techniques. Specific receptor sites for GABA, benzodiazepines, picrotoxin/convulsants, and barbiturates can be assayed in vitro by radioactive ligand binding. Mutual chloride-dependent allosteric interactions between the four receptor sites indicate that they are all coupled in the same membrane macromolecular complex. Indirect effects of barbiturates on the other three binding sites define a pharmacologically specific, stereospecific receptor. All of the activities can be solubilized in the mild detergent 3-[(3-cholamidopropyl)-dimethylammonio]propane sulfonate (CHAPS) and co-purify as a single protein complex.


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Related Concepts

Phenobarbital receptor
Allosteric Regulation
Chloride Ion Level
Ion Channel
GABA-A Receptor gamma Subunit
Synaptic Receptors

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