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Pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGICs) are key players in the early events of electrical signal transduction at chemical synapses. The family codes for a structurally conserved scaffold of channel proteins that open in response to the binding of neurotransmitter molecules. All proteins share a pentameric organization of identical or related subunits(More)
The X-ray structure of a pentameric ligand-gated ion channel from Erwinia chrysanthemi (ELIC) has recently provided structural insight into this family of ion channels at high resolution. The structure shows a homo-pentameric protein with a barrel-stave architecture that defines an ion-conduction pore located on the fivefold axis of symmetry. In this(More)
The flow of ions through cation-selective members of the pentameric ligand-gated ion channel family is inhibited by a structurally diverse class of molecules that bind to the transmembrane pore in the open state of the protein. To obtain insight into the mechanism of channel block, we have investigated the binding of positively charged inhibitors to the(More)
The X-ray structures of two prokaryotic pentameric ligand-gated ion channels have recently provided detailed insight into this important family of neurotransmitter receptors. These prokaryotic homologs share the overall architecture of their eukaryotic counterparts with conservation in functionally important residues. Although both structures are similar(More)
Pentameric ligand-gated ion channels are activated by the binding of agonists to a site distant from the ion conduction path. These membrane proteins consist of distinct ligand-binding and pore domains that interact via an extended interface. Here, we have investigated the role of residues at this interface for channel activation to define critical(More)
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