GABA A receptor

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γ(gamma)-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and spinal cord.

Definition

Most prominent GABA-receptor subtype, a ligand-gated Cl- ion channel. The influx of Cl ions down the electrochemical gradient tends to stabilize the resting potential, since the reversal potential for chlorine ions is usually near, or more negative than the resting potential. The net effect is inhibitory.

The GABA A receptor is the site of action of many neuroactive drugs, including benzodiazepines, barbiturates, ethanol as well as volatile anesthetics.

Structure

The GABA A receptor is a multisubunit transmembrane protein that consists of a conducting pore and a transmitter binding site on the outer side of the memberane. The subunits have at least three different types –α, β, and γ- with unknown stochiometery.

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