Ligand-Gated Ion Channels
(PowerPoint Slides)

Robert D. Blitzer*

Department of Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.


*Contact information. E-mail, robert.blitzer{at}


Slides are provided for a class covering ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs) and are part of the course �Cell Signaling Systems: A Course for Graduate Students.� The slides describe 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 described. 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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Educational Details

Learning Resource Type: PowerPoint slides

Context: Undergraduate upper division, graduate, professional (degree program)

Intended Users: Teacher, learner

Intended Educational Use: Teach, learn, plan

Discipline: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Pharmacology, Structural Biology, Neurobiology

Keywords: Cys-loop receptors, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), ionotropic glutamate receptors, NMDA-type glutamate receptor, long-term potentiation

Technical Details

Format: PowerPoint (ppt)

Size: 8.97 MB

Requirements: Microsoft PowerPoint

Limits for Use

Cost: Free

Rights: This material may be downloaded for noncommercial, course-teaching purposes only, provided credit to STKE is included by listing the citation for the Teaching Resource.


Citation: R.D. Blitzer, Ligand-gated ion channels. Sci. STKE2005, tr12 (2005).

© 2005 American Association for the Advancement of Science