Fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of intellectual disability, is caused by loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). GABAergic system dysfunction is one of the hallmarks of FXS, yet the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we report that FMRP interacts with GABAA receptor (GABAAR) and modulates its single-channel activity. Specifically, FMRP regulates spontaneous GABAAR opening through modulating its single-channel conductance and open probability in dentate granule cells. FMRP loss reduces spontaneous GABAAR activity underlying tonic inhibition, while N-terminal FMRP fragment (aa 1–297) is sufficient to rapidly normalize tonic inhibition in Fmr1 knockout (KO) granule cells. FMRP-GABAAR interaction is supported by co-immunoprecipitation of FMRP with at least one GABAAR subunit, the α5. Functionally, FMRP-GABAAR interaction ensures accuracy of coincidence detection of granule cells, which is markedly reduced in Fmr1 KOs. Our study reveals a mechanism underlying FMRP regulation of the GABAergic system and information processing in the hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110820
JournalCell Reports
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 17 2022


  • CP: Neuroscience
  • FMRP
  • GABAA receptor
  • dentate gyrus granule cells
  • fragile X syndrome
  • single-channel activity
  • tonic inhibition


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