The neurotransmitter glutamate mediates excitatory synaptic transmission by gating ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs). AMPA receptors (AMPARs), a subtype of iGluR, are strongly implicated in synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. We previously discovered two classes of AMPAR auxiliary proteins in C. elegans that modify receptor kinetics and thus change synaptic transmission. Here, we have identified another auxiliary protein, SOL-2, a CUB-domain protein that associates with both the related auxiliary subunit SOL-1 and with the GLR-1 AMPAR. In sol-2 mutants, behaviors dependent on glutamatergic transmission are disrupted, GLR-1-mediated currents are diminished, and GLR-1 desensitization and pharmacology are modified. Remarkably, a secreted variant of SOL-1 delivered in trans can rescue sol-1 mutants, and this rescue depends on in cis expression of SOL-2. Finally, we demonstrate that SOL-1 and SOL-2 have an ongoing role in the adult nervous system to control AMPAR-mediated currents.
Wang, R., Mellem, J. E., Jensen, M., Brockie, P. J., Walker, C. S., Hoerndli, F. J., … Maricq, A. V. (2012). The SOL-2/Neto Auxiliary Protein Modulates the Function of AMPA-Subtype Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors. Neuron, 75(5), 838–850. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2012.06.038