GRIN3B (Glutamate receptor, ionotropic, N-methyl-D-aspartate 3B)

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Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
Likely Difference
MOCA Domain: 
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Glutamate receptor, ionotropic, N-methyl-D-aspartate 3A (GRIN3B) is a subunit of NMDA receptors, which are glutamate regulated ion-channels that regulate excitatory synaptic transmission. GRIN3B genetic changes have been associated with changes in social interaction and anxiety. GRIN3B has an amino acid change that lead to a gain of a phosphorylation site. Change in the human GRIN3B has been hypothesized to play a role in human higher brain function.


Timing of appearance of the difference in the Hominin Lineage as a defined date or a lineage separation event. The point in time associated with lineage separation events may change in the future as the scientific community agrees upon better time estimates. Lineage separation events are defined in 2017 as:

  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and old world monkeys was 25,000 - 30,000 thousand (25 - 30 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees was 6,000 - 8,000 thousand (6 - 8 million) years ago
  • the emergence of the genus Homo was 2,000 thousand (2 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and neanderthals was 500 thousand years ago
  • the common ancestor of modern humans was 100 - 300 thousand years ago

Definite Appearance: 
6,000 thousand years ago
Genetics Topic Attributes
Gene symbols follow the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee standard.
Gene Symbol Type of Human-Specific Changes
GRIN3B Amino Acid Change


  1. The identification and functional implications of human-specific "fixed" amino acid substitutions in the glutamate receptor family., Goto, H., Watanabe K., Araragi N., Kageyama R., Tanaka K., Kuroki Y., Toyoda A., Hattori M., Sakaki Y., Fujiyama A., et al. , BMC Evol Biol, Volume 9, p.224, (2009)