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The structural and functional properties of reconstituted nicotinic acetylcholine receptor membranes composed of phosphatidyl choline either with or without cholesterol and/or phosphatidic acid have been examined to test the hypothesis that receptor conformational equilibria are modulated by the physical properties of the surrounding lipid environment.(More)
Pentameric ligand-gated ion channels mediate rapid chemo-electric signal transduction in animals. The active site of this family of proteins is their ion channel pore, which is located at the center of the transmembrane domain. The opening/closing motions of the channel pore are governed by the binding of neurotransmitter to the extracellular domain, but(More)
Although the activity of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is exquisitely sensitive to its membrane environment, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly defined. The homologous prokaryotic pentameric ligand-gated ion channel, Gloebacter ligand-gated ion channel (GLIC), represents an excellent model for probing the molecular basis of nAChR(More)
Pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGICs) mediate fast synaptic communication by converting chemical signals into an electrical response. Recently solved agonist-bound and agonist-free structures greatly extend our understanding of these complex molecular machines. A key challenge to a full description of function, however, is the ability to(More)
A simple procedure for rapidly measuring lipid:protein ratios and detergent concentrations at different stages of the solubilization, purification and crystallization of membrane proteins has been developed. Fourier-transform infrared spectra recorded from 10 micro l aliquots of solution using a single-bounce diamond-attenuated total reflectance apparatus(More)
Lipids influence the ability of Cys-loop receptors to gate open in response to neurotransmitter binding, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. With the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) from Torpedo, current models suggest that lipids modulate the natural equilibrium between resting and desensitized conformations. We show that the(More)
The gene for the Campylobacter ferric receptor (CfrA), a putative iron-siderophore transporter in the enteric food-borne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni, was cloned, and the membrane protein was expressed in Escherichia coli, affinity purified, and then reconstituted into model lipid membranes. Fourier transform infrared spectra recorded from the(More)
The secondary structure and effects of two ligands, carbamylcholine and tetracaine, on the secondary structure of affinity-purified nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) from Torpedo has been studied using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). FTIR spectra of the nAChR were acquired in both 1H2O and 2H2O buffer and exhibit spectral features(More)
The Cys-loop receptor super-family of neurotransmitter-gated ion channels mediates fast synaptic transmission throughout the human nervous system. These receptors exhibit widely varying pharmacologies, yet their structural characterization has relied heavily on their homology with the naturally abundant muscle-type Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.(More)