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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2011;717:93-113. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-9557-5_9.

Kainate receptor modulation by sodium and chloride.

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  • 1Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP), Robert-Rössle-Str. 10, 13125, Berlin, Germany.


The kainate-type glutamate receptor displays strong modulation by monovalent anions and cations. This modulation is independent of permeation of the ion channel. Instead, structural, computational and biophysical evidence shows that receptor activity is controlled by binding of sodium and chloride ions at sites that stabilize active dimers of glutamate binding domains. Modulation by monovalent ions is a surprisingly general property across ion channel families. However, evidence of a physiological role for ion-dependent effects on glutamate receptors is lacking, perhaps reflecting the adventitious use of ions as structural components of the kainate receptor. "ergo, Hercules, vita humanior sine sale non quit degree […]" "Heaven known, a civilized life is impossible without salt" -Pliny the Elder, Natural History XXXI 88.

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