Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20132777
Link to DOI – 10.1051/medsci/201026165
Med Sci (Paris) 2010 Jan; 26(1): 65-72
In the brain of vertebrates, glutamate receptor ion channels (iGluR) mediate fast neurotransmission at excitatory synapses. They exist as distinct subfamilies (AMPA, Kainate and NMDA) differing in their functional properties. Yet, all iGluR are tetramers sharing a common molecular architecture, and a common scheme applies for the general mechanisms of their activation, which are discussed in this review. The dissection of the molecular mechanisms responsible for the operation of iGluR explain how they match their physiological requirements and paves the way to new strategies for pharmacological regulations of these receptors. This could prove useful for the discovery of drugs of therapeutic interest, such as cognitive enhancers, pain killers or anti-psychotics.