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Shedding light on metabotropic glutamate receptors using optogenetics and photopharmacology

Goudet, C., Rovira, X., Llebaria, A.

 Current Opinion in Pharmacology, 38, pp. 8-15, 2018

 Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) are a family of G protein-coupled receptors activated by glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter of the mammalian central nervous system. These receptors are considered as potential therapeutic targets in many neurological diseases but a better understanding of their complex molecular dynamics and of their role in the normal and pathological functioning of the brain is still required. Manipulating mGluRs with high spatial and temporal precision holds great promise for deciphering their physiological and pathological functions. This article reviews several recently developed optogenetic and photopharmacological solutions for the optical control of mGluRs and their applications, from the study of the molecular dynamics of receptor activation to the study of their roles in vivo.