Human brain transcriptome analysis finds region- and subject-specific expression signatures of GABAAR subunits

Adolfo Sequeira, Kevin Shen, Assaf Gottlieb, Agenor Limon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Altered expression of GABA receptors (GABAARs) has been implicated in neurological and psychiatric disorders, but limited information about region-specific GABAAR subunit expression in healthy human brains, heteromeric assembly of major isoforms, and their collective organization across healthy individuals, are major roadblocks to understanding their role in non-physiological states. Here, by using microarray and RNA-Seq datasets—from single cell nuclei to global brain expression—from the Allen Institute, we find that transcriptional expression of GABAAR subunits is anatomically organized according to their neurodevelopmental origin. The data show a combination of complementary and mutually-exclusive expression patterns that delineate major isoforms, and which is highly stereotypical across brains from control donors. We summarize the region-specific signature of GABAR subunits per subject and its variability in a control population sample that can be used as a reference for remodeling changes during homeostatic rearrangements of GABAAR subunits after physiological, pharmacological or pathological challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number153
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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