The metabotropic GABA(B) receptor directly interacts with the activating transcription factor 4

Ralf B. Nehring, Hiroshi P.M. Horikawa, Oussama El Far, Matthias Kneussel, Johann Helmut Brandstätter, Stefan Stamm, Erhard Wischmeyer, Heinrich Betz, Andreas Karschin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


G protein-coupled receptors regulate gene expression by cellular signaling cascades that target transcription factors and their recognition by specific DNA sequences. In the central nervous system, heteromeric metabotropic γ-aminobutyric acid type B (GABA(B)) receptors through adenylyl cyclase regulate cAMP levels, which may control transcription factor binding to the cAMP response element. Using yeast-two hybrid screens of rat brain libraries, we now demonstrate that GABA(B) receptors are engaged in a direct and specific interaction with the activating transcription factor 4 (ATF-4), a member of the cAMP response element-binding protein/ATF family. As confirmed by pull-down assays, ATF-4 associates via its conserved basic leucine zipper domain with the C termini of both GABA(B) receptor (GABA(B)R) 1 and GABA(B)R2 at a site which serves to assemble these receptor subunits in heterodimeric complexes. Confocal fluorescence microscopy shows that GABA(B)R and ATF-4 are strongly coclustered in the soma and at the dendritic membrane surface of both cultured hippocampal neurons as well as retinal amacrine cells in vivo. In oocyte coexpression assays short term signaling of GABA(B)Rs via G proteins was only marginally affected by the presence of the transcription factor, but ATF-4 was moderately stimulated in response to receptor activation in in vivo reporter assays. Thus, inhibitory metabotropic GABA(B)Rs may regulate activity-dependent gene expression via a direct interaction with ATF-4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35185-35191
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 10 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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