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1. Human GABA(A) receptors containing different alpha and beta subunits with or without the gamma 2S or gamma 2L subunits were expressed in Xenopus oocytes and the effects of the insecticides gamma- and delta-hexachlorocyclohexane (gamma-HCH and delta-HCH, respectively) on these receptor subunit combinations were examined using two electrode voltage-clamp procedures. 2. gamma-HCH produced incomplete inhibition of GABA responses on all receptor combinations examined with affinities in the range of 1.1--1.9 microM. Affinity was not dependent on subunit composition but the maximum percentage of inhibition was significantly reduced in beta 1-containing receptors. delta-HCH both potentiated GABA(A) receptors and activated them in the absence of GABA at concentrations higher than those producing potentiation. Allosteric enhancement of GABA(A) receptor function by delta-HCH was not affected by the subunit composition of the receptor, By contrast the GABA mimetic actions of delta-HCH were abolished in receptors containing either alpha 4, beta 1 or gamma 2L subunits. 4. Sensitivity to the direct actions were not restored in receptors containing the mutant beta 1(S290N) subunit, but alpha 1 beta 2 gamma 2L receptors became sensitive to the direct actions of delta-HCH when oocytes were treated for 24 h with the protein kinase inhibitor isoquinolinesulphonyl-2-methyl piperazine dihydrochloride (H-7). 5. We have shown the influence of various alpha, beta and gamma subunits on the inhibitory, GABA mimetic and allosteric effects of HCH isomers. The data reveal that neither the inhibitory actions of gamma-HCH nor the allosteric effects delta-HCH has a strict subunit dependency. By contrast, sensitivity to the direct actions of delta-HCH are abolished in receptors containing alpha 4, beta 1 or gamma 2L subunits.


P D Maskell, K A Wafford, I Bermudez. Effects of gamma-HCH and delta-HCH on human recombinant GABA(A) receptors: dependence on GABA(A) receptor subunit combination. British journal of pharmacology. 2001 Jan;132(1):205-12

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PMID: 11156579

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