As an ionotropic receptor, the glycine receptor (abbreviated as GlyR or GLR) responds to the amino acid neurotransmitter glycine which produces its effects through chloride current. Glycine receptors (GlyR) are the major inhibitory receptors in the spinal cord and the brain stem, and play important roles in a variety of physiological processes, especially in mediating inhibitory neurotransmission in the spinal cord and brainstem.
Fig. 1 Current–Voltage Relationship and Voltage-Independent Inhibition by Resveratrol (Res) on IGly in Oocytes Expressing Glycine Receptors
GlyR are similar to GABAa receptors in that both are ion channels selectively permeable to the anion Cl-. A rare neurological disorder-hyperekplexia is caused by disruption of GlyR surface expression or reduced ability of expressed GlyRs to conduct chloride ions. A mutation in GLRA1 is responsible for some cases of stiff person syndrome.
Glycine Receptor (GlyRα3) (GLYRA3)
Tissue-specific Location: mostly in the spinal cord, within the superficial layers of the dorsal horn.
Disease: depletion of GlyRα3 receptors causes altered pain sensitization responses.
Therapeutic Target: pain therapy.