A subtype-selective, use-dependent inhibitor of native AMPA receptors

Aaron Nilsen, Pamela M. England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isooxazole) receptors (AMPARs) are glutamate-gated ion channels that play central roles in the mammalian brain, mediating fast excitatory synaptic transmission and underlying several forms of synaptic plasticity. Two subtypes of AMPARs are primarily coexpressed at excitatory synapses in adult animals (GluR1/2 and GluR2/3 receptors). Efforts to distinguish between the potentially distinct roles these receptor subtypes play at synapses have been hampered by the absence of a subtype-selective AMPAR antagonist. Here we show that the polyamine philanthotoxin-7,4 (PhTx-74) is a subtype-selective AMPAR antagonist, inhibiting GluR1/2, but not GluR2/3 receptors, use-dependently. The molecular basis for the observed selectivity and a highly efficient synthesis of this remarkable toxin are also presented. PhTx-74 provides the first a means of directly monitoring subtype-specific changes in the composition of AMPARs at native synapses, including during hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a form of synaptic plasticity thought to share processes related to learning and memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4902-4903
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 25 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'A subtype-selective, use-dependent inhibitor of native AMPA receptors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this