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Fast inhibitory neurotransmission is essential for nervous system function and is mediated by binding of inhibitory neurotransmitters to receptors of the Cys-loop family embedded in the membranes of neurons. Neurotransmitter binding triggers a conformational change in the receptor, opening an intrinsic chloride channel and thereby dampening neuronal(More)
Cys-loop receptors are neurotransmitter-gated ion channels that are essential mediators of fast chemical neurotransmission and are associated with a large number of neurological diseases and disorders, as well as parasitic infections. Members of this ion channel superfamily mediate excitatory or inhibitory neurotransmission depending on their ligand and ion(More)
The pentameric acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) is a soluble surrogate of the ligand binding domain of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Agonists bind within a nest of aromatic side chains contributed by loops C and F on opposing faces of each subunit interface. Crystal structures of Aplysia AChBP bound with the agonist anabaseine, two partial(More)
Using the Lymnaea acetylcholine-binding protein as a surrogate of the extracellular domain of the nicotinic receptor, we combined site-directed labeling with fluorescence spectroscopy to assess possible linkages between ligand binding and conformational dynamics. Specifically, 2-[(5-fluoresceinyl)aminocarbonyl]ethyl methanethiosulfonate was conjugated to a(More)
The three-fingered alpha-neurotoxins have played a pivotal role in elucidating the structure and function of the muscle-type and neuronal alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). To advance our understanding of the alpha-neurotoxin-nAChR interaction, we examined the flexibility of alpha-neurotoxin bound to the acetylcholine-binding protein(More)
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate fast chemical neurotransmission at the neuromuscular junction and have diverse signalling roles in the central nervous system. The nicotinic receptor has been a model system for cell-surface receptors, and specifically for ligand-gated ion channels, for well over a century. In(More)
Recently, several crystal structures have become available for the acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP), a soluble nicotinic receptor extracellular domain (ECD) surrogate in its unliganded state, as well as in complex with agonists and antagonists. In these studies we sought to better understand how the dynamic receptor ECD surrogate from Lymnaea stagnalis(More)
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate rapid neurotransmission in the central and peripheral nervous systems. The acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) is a soluble structural and functional surrogate of the extracellular, ligand-binding domain of the nAChR that allows for studies not amenable to study of the(More)
The identification of the various nicotinic receptor subtypes, when coupled with the recent development of three-dimensional structures of surrogate extracellular receptor domains, offers new opportunities to design nicotinic ligands. Conformation and fluctuations in receptor structure are critical to ligand selectivity, and we present here how a flexible(More)
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