AMPA receptor GluA2 subunit defects are a cause of neurodevelopmental disorders

Salpietro, V, Dixon CL, Guo H, Bello OD, Vandrovcova J, Efthymiou S, Maroofian R, Heimer G, Burglen L, Valence S et al..  2019.  AMPA receptor GluA2 subunit defects are a cause of neurodevelopmental disorders, 2019. Nature Communications. 10(1)


AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are tetrameric ligand-gated channels made up of combinations of GluA1-4 subunits encoded by GRIA1-4 genes. GluA2 has an especially important role because, following post-transcriptional editing at the Q607 site, it renders heteromultimeric AMPARs Ca2+-impermeable, with a linear relationship between current and trans-membrane voltage. Here, we report heterozygous de novo GRIA2 mutations in 28 unrelated patients with intellectual disability (ID) and neurodevelopmental abnormalities including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Rett syndrome-like features, and seizures or developmental epileptic encephalopathy (DEE). In functional expression studies, mutations lead to a decrease in agonist-evoked current mediated by mutant subunits compared to wild-type channels. When GluA2 subunits are co-expressed with GluA1, most GRIA2 mutations cause a decreased current amplitude and some also affect voltage rectification. Our results show that de-novo variants in GRIA2 can cause neurodevelopmental disorders, complementing evidence that other genetic causes of ID, ASD and DEE also disrupt glutamatergic synaptic transmission.