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Desensitization of the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) subtype of glutamate receptor channels is an important process shaping the time course of synaptic excitation. Upon desensitization, the receptor channel closes and the agonist affinity increases. So far, the nature of the structural rearrangements leading to these(More)
The structure of glutamate receptor-channel (GluR) subunits has recently been shown to differ from that of other ligand-gated channels and to contain a voltage-gated channel-like pore-forming motif. The view that the structure of GluR complexes is similar to the pentameric structure of other ligand-gated channels was questioned here. Studies of the response(More)
Aging is a risk factor for the development of adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases. Although some of the molecular pathways regulating longevity and stress resistance in lower organisms are defined (i.e., those activating the transcriptional regulators DAF-16 and HSF-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans), their relevance to mammals and disease susceptibility are(More)
Mechanosensory signaling mediated by mechanically gated ion channels constitutes the basis for the senses of touch and hearing and contributes fundamentally to the development and homeostasis of all organisms. Despite this profound importance in biology, little is known of the molecular identities or functional requirements of mechanically gated ion(More)
To the surprise of many, studies of molecular mechanisms of touch transduction and analyses of epithelial Na+ transport have converged to define a new class of ion channel subunits. Based on the names of the first two identified subfamilies, the Caenorhabditis elegans degenerins and the vertebrate epithelial amiloride-sensitive Na+ channel, this ion channel(More)
Kainate receptors mediate some of the excitatory transactions carried out in the central nervous system by the neurotransmitter glutamate. They are involved in neurotoxicity, possibly in neurodegenerative disorders and it has been suggested that they have a role in long-term potentiation. Kainate receptors are present both on neuronal and glial cell(More)
To ensure precise neurotransmission and prevent neurotoxic accumulation, l-glutamate (Glu), the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, is cleared from the synapse by glutamate transporters (GluTs). The molecular components of Glu synapses are highly conserved between Caenorhabditis elegans and mammals, yet the absence of synaptic insulation in C.(More)
In stroke and several neurodegenerative diseases, malfunction of glutamate (Glu) transporters causes Glu accumulation and triggers excitotoxicity. Many details on the cascade of events in the neurodegenerative process remain unclear. As molecular components of glutamatergic synapses are assembled in Caenorhabditis elegans and as many fundamental cellular(More)
The gene encoding chick cerebellar Bergmann glia-specific kainate binding protein (chKBP), has been isolated, characterized and expressed in heterologous systems. The structural gene spans 11.2 kb and contains 11 exons and 10 introns. Several of the exons encode specific receptor domains, including each of the predicted transmembrane regions. Exon/intron(More)
Excitotoxicity (the toxic overstimulation of neurons by the excitatory transmitter Glutamate) is a central process in widespread neurodegenerative conditions such as brain ischemia and chronic neurological diseases. Many mechanisms have been suggested to mediate excitotoxicity, but their significance across diverse excitotoxic scenarios remains unclear.(More)