Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.


Sci. STKE, 24 June 2003
Vol. 2003, Issue 188, p. re11
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.188.re11]


Life at the Top: The Transition State of AChR Gating

Anthony Auerbach*

Center for Single Molecule Biophysics, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.

Gloss: This STKE review describes the mechanisms by which receptors for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine change conformation to allow information from the presynaptic neuron to be conveyed to the postsynaptic cell. Cells in the nervous system communicate by means of chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, at the synapse. Neurotransmitter binding to a ligand-gated channel on the postsynaptic cell triggers a conformational change, called gating, that allows ions to flow through the channel. In the neuromuscular acetylcholine receptor channel, gating involves a wave of small conformational changes that propagates from the neurotransmitter binding site throughout the channel during the transition from the closed to the open state, rather than an all-or-nothing switch in which all parts of the protein move synchronously from "closed" to "open." This review contains seven figures, 37 references, and one animation.

*Contact information. E-Mail, auerbach{at}

Citation: A. Auerbach, Life at the Top: The Transition State of AChR Gating. Sci. STKE 2003, re11 (2003).

Ion-dependent gating of kainate receptors.
D. Bowie (2010)
J. Physiol. 588, 67-81
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Dynamics of the acetylcholine receptor pore at the gating transition state.
A. Mitra, G. D. Cymes, and A. Auerbach (2005)
PNAS 102, 15069-15074
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

To Advertise     Find Products

Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882