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Biochimica et biophysica acta

Probing the structure of the uncoupled nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.


PMID 27871840

Abstract

In the absence of activating anionic lipids and cholesterol, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) from Torpedo adopts an uncoupled conformation that does not usually gate open in response to agonist. The uncoupled conformation binds both agonists and non-competitive channel blockers with a lower affinity than the desensitized state, consistent with both the extracellular agonist-binding and transmembrane channel-gating domains individually adopting resting-state like conformations. To test this hypothesis, we characterized the binding of the agonist, acetylcholine, and two fluorescent channel blockers, ethidium and crystal violet, to resting, desensitized and uncoupled nAChRs in reconstituted membranes. The measured K

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