Teaching Resource

Ligand-Gated Ion Channels

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Science's STKE  19 Apr 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 280, pp. tr12
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2802005tr12

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This Teaching Resource provides a summary and slides derived from a lecture covering ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs), and is part of the course "Cell Signaling Systems: A Course for Graduate Students." The lecture focuses on two families of LGICs: the Cys-loop receptors and the ionotropic glutamate receptors. For Cys-loop receptors, much of the material is based on studies of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, including overall receptor topology, the basis for ionic selectivity, the identity of the gate, and the coupling of agonist binding to the opening of the gate. In the glutamate receptors, the conserved topology, and the differential kinetics and ion selectivities, among the AMPA-type and NMDA-type glutamate receptors are covered. The unique voltage-dependence of NMDA-type receptors is addressed, with special reference to the role of these receptors in synaptic plasticity.

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