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Cell Calcium. 1998 Nov-Dec;24(5-6):325-32.

Calcium permeability of ligand-gated channels.

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Max-Planck-Institut für medizinische Forschung, Heidelberg, Germany.


Ligand-gated channels activated by excitatory neurotransmitters: glutamate, acetylcholine, ATP or serotonin are cation channels permeable to Ca2+. Molecular cloning revealed a large variety of the ligand-gated channel subunits differentially expressed in mammalian brain. Many of them have different Ca2+ permeability providing immense diversity in Ca2+ entry mediated by ligand-gated channels during synaptic transmission. Functional analysis of cloned channels allowed to identify structural elements in the pore forming regions determining Ca2+ permeability for many types of ligand-gated channels. The functional role of the Ca2+ entry mediated by various ligand-gated channels in mammalian central nervous system is less understood. The studies reviewed in this article provide information about known structural determinants of Ca2+ permeability of the ligand-gated channels and the role of this particular pathway of Ca2+ entry in cell function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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