The metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) belong to the group C family of G-protein-coupled receptors and are a type of glutamate receptors activated through an indirect metabotropic process. mGluRs have seven transmembrane domains that span the cell membrane just like other metabotropic receptors. mGluRs activate biochemical cascades that results in the modification of other proteins, such as ion channels. This may lead to changes in the synapse's excitability, such as presynaptic inhibition of neurotransmission, or modulation and even induction of postsynaptic responses.
Like other glutamate receptors, mGluRs bind to glutamate which is an amino acid that acts as an excitatory neurotransmitter. The mGluRs can be found in presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons in synapses of the cerebellum, cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and other parts of the brain and surrounding peripheral tissues and perform various functions in the central and peripheral nervous systems. They are involved in memory, learning, anxiety, and the perception of pain. The broad distribution of mGluR proteins suggests that these neuromodulatory receptors have the ability to participate in multiple functions of the central nervous system (CNS) and may represent ideal targets for therapeutic intervention in various CNS disorders.
Fig.1 Schematic diagram of the mGluR dimer in different activity states. (Niswender, 2010)
Here show eight different types of mGluRs including GRM1 to GRM8 (mGluR1 to mGluR8), which are divided into groups I, II, and IIIbased on their structure and physiological activity. The mGluRs are further divided into subtypes, such as mGluR7a and mGluR7b.
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