Glutamate receptors at atomic resolution.

Building 35, Room 3B1002, Porter Neuroscience Research Center, 35 Lincoln Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 42.35). 04/2006; 440(7083):456-62. DOI: 10.1038/nature04709
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT At synapses throughout the brain and spinal cord, the amino-acid glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter. During evolution, a family of glutamate-receptor ion channels seems to have been assembled from a kit consisting of discrete ligand-binding, ion-channel, modulatory and cytoplasmic domains. Crystallographic studies that exploit this unique architecture have greatly aided structural analysis of the ligand-binding core, but the results also pose a formidable challenge, namely that of resolving the allosteric mechanisms by which individual domains communicate and function in an intact receptor.

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