San Jose, CA, January 15, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- The excitatory neurotransmitter amino acid glutamate (Glu) is abundant in the human body, particularly in the nervous system. It participates in processes such as neuronal precursor-cell proliferation, cellular homeostasis, synaptic transmission, growth, migration, survival as well as cell death.
Glu binds to glutamate receptors (GluRs) leading to the activation of multiple signaling pathways. GluRs are the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter receptors in the mammalian brain located primarily on the membranes of neuronal cells however recent findings have demonstrated expression of functional GluRs in non-neuronal peripheral cells such as skin, placenta, and colon.
GluRs are activated in a variety of normal neurophysiologic processes. In addition to their fundamental role in neurotransmittion, GluRs may contribute to the modulation of a variety of cellular functions. One of the major functions of GluRs is the modulation of synaptic plasticity, a property of the brain thought to be vital for memory and learning. Active GluRs stimulate release of intracellular calcium stores. GluR signaling plays an important role in the development of pathologies such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, stroke, brain tumors, fragile X syndrome, Huntington's disease, and in Schizophrenia. A large body of work has linked GluRs to the development and progression of cancer.
Two classes of glutamate receptors exist: ionotropic receptors (iGluRs), and metabotropic receptors (mGluRs).
iGluRs are complexes of various subunits creating ion channels in the cell plasma membranes that allow for influx or efflux of cations, and play a critical role in neural function. Glu binding to iGluR eventually results in opening of a pore in the membrane where influx of sodium, potassium and/or calcium occurs. Overstimulation of Glu signaling via iGluRs has been shown to contribute to neurodegenerative diseases.
mGluRs are a group of G-protein coupled receptors that initiate signaling cascades upon Glu binding, and consists of at least12 members. mGluRs indirectly activate ion channels on the plasma membrane through a signaling cascade that involves G proteins. These receptors are localized throughout the central and peripheral nervous system and play a role in homeostasis of many organs. They have been found on both pre-and postsynaptic cells, and are expressed in epithelium, connective and muscle tissues. The metabotropic glutamate receptors have been divided into 3 groups on the basis of sequence homology, putative signal transduction mechanisms, and pharmacological properties. Studies show that stimulation of mGluRs leads to activation of a wide variety of signalling pathways that have effects on signal transmission, cell survival, metabolism, regulating cell cycle, proliferation and tumorigenesis in many cell types.
All these findings make glutamate receptors and their effector molecules compelling candidates for further investigation. Abbomax has developed a panel of six anti-GluR antibodies: GluR1, GluR2/3, GluR4, GluR6/7, mGluR1, mGluR5. GluR1, GluR2/3, GluR4, and GluR6/7 belong to the ionotropic receptors (iGluRs).
mGluR1 and mGluR5 belong to the group one of the metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). They are critical to the function of neural circuits that are required for inhibitory learning mechanism, long-term potentiation in the hippocampus and long-term depression in the cerebellum.
AbboMax is a biotechnology company headquartered in San Jose, California, USA. The company offers innovative primary and secondary antibodies, peptides, antibody reagents, assay kits, and liposome reagents, as well as custom services.
Natasha Raysberg, Ph.D.