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Sci. Signal., 15 July 2008
Vol. 1, Issue 28, p. re7
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.128re7]

REVIEWS

Ethanol’s Molecular Targets

R. Adron Harris1*, James R. Trudell2, and S. John Mihic1

1Section of Neurobiology and Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research, Institutes for Neuroscience and Cell & Molecular Biology, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712, USA.
2Department of Anesthesia, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Gloss: For much of the 20th century, it was widely believed that ethanol exerts its effects on neuronal function in a nonspecific manner—perhaps through the disordering of membrane lipids. However, over the past two decades, evidence has mounted that ethanol instead produces its effects by altering the functioning of specific proteins through its interaction with a select few amino acids in those proteins. In this Review with 2 figures and 60 citations, we focus on proteins for which evidence for specific alcohol binding sites has been obtained, and we briefly describe and compare these ethanol receptors.

*Corresponding author. E-mail, harris{at}mail.utexas.edu

Citation: R. A. Harris, J. R. Trudell, S. J. Mihic, Ethanol’s Molecular Targets. Sci. Signal. 1, re7 (2008).


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