The glycine receptor, or GlyR, is the receptor for the amino acid neurotransmitter glycine. It is one of the most widely distributed inhibitory receptors in the central nervous system.
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Activation and inactivation
The receptor can be activated by a range of simple amino acids including glycine, β-alanine and taurine, and can be selectively blocked by the high-affinity competitive antagonist strychnine.
Arrangement of subunits
Strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors are members of a family of Ligand-gated ion channels. Receptors of this family are arranged as five subunits surrounding a central pore, with each subunit composed of four α helical transmembrane segments.
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's oocytes or mammalian cell lines, and the α1 homomeric receptor is essential for studies of channel pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
A mutation in GLRA1 is responsible for some cases of stiff person syndrome.
Quantum dots have been used to track the diffusion of glycine receptors into the synapse of neurons.
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|Ion channel, receptor: ligand-gated ion channels|
|Cys-loop receptors||5-HT receptor (5-HT3 serotonin receptor (A)) - GABA receptor (GABA A (α1, α2, α3, α5, α6, β1, β2, β3, γ2, ε), GABA C (ρ1)) - Glycine receptor (α1) - Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α1, α2, α3, α4, α5, α7, β2, β3, β4, δ, ε, (α4)2(β2)3, (α7)5, Ganglion type, Muscle type)|
|Ionotropic glutamate receptors||AMPA (1, 2, 3, 4) - Kainate (1, 2) - NMDA (1, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D)|
|ATP-gated channels||Purinergic receptors (P2X (1, 4, 5, 7))|