Molecular biology of NMDA receptors


in The NMDA Receptor

Second edition

Published in print February 1995 | ISBN: 9780192625021
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191724701 | DOI:
Molecular biology of NMDA receptors

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Although the primary structures of NMDA receptor subunits are known, no sound predictions can be made regarding the membrane topology of the subunits or the stoichiometry of the subunits in native or recombinant channels. The mature subunits of NMDA receptors, and of other ionotropic glutamate receptor channels, contain four hydrophobic sequence regions. On this basis, the subunits are expected to cross the lipid bilayer four times to assume a membrane topology as established for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor whose subunits have extracellularly located amino- and carboxy-termini. However, certain features of glutamate receptor channels are compatible with a different topology. This chapter describes the molecular components of NMDA receptors as revealed from cloned nucleotide sequences, the functional characteristics of recombinantly expressed NMDA channels, and the distribution patterns in rat brain of the mRNAs encoding the channel subunits. It also presents structure-function relationships governing some of the particular properties of NMDA receptor channels.

Keywords: NMDA receptors; nucleotide sequences; NMDA channels; rat brain; mRNAs; molecular biology

Chapter.  4235 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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