There are presently four known isoforms of the α-subunit (α1-4) of GlyR that are essential to bind ligands (GLRA1, GLRA2, GLRA3, GLRA4) and a single β-subunit (GLRB).
The adult form of the GlyR is the heteromeric α1β receptor, which is believed to have a stoichiometry (proportion) of three α1 subunits and two β subunits
 or four α1 subunits and one β subunit. The α-subunits are also able to form functional homo-pentameric receptors in heterologous expression systems in African clawed frog'soocytes or mammalian cell lines, and the α1 homomeric receptor is essential for studies of channel pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
Quantum dots have been used to track the diffusion of glycine receptors into the synapse of neurons.
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