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Trends Biochem Sci. 2015 Jun;40(6):328-37. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2015.04.002. Epub 2015 May 1.

Emerging structural insights into the function of ionotropic glutamate receptors.

Author information

1
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, W.M. Keck Structural Biology Laboratory, 1 Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, USA.
2
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, W.M. Keck Structural Biology Laboratory, 1 Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, USA. Electronic address: furukawa@cshl.edu.

Abstract

Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate excitatory neurotransmission crucial for brain development and function, including learning and memory formation. Recently a wealth of structural studies on iGluRs including AMPA receptors (AMPARs), kainate receptors, and NMDA receptors (NMDARs) became available. These studies showed structures of non-NMDARs including AMPAR and kainate receptor in various functional states, thereby providing the first visual sense of how non-NMDAR iGluRs may function in the context of homotetramers. Furthermore, they provided the first view of heterotetrameric NMDAR ion channels, and this illuminated the similarities with and differences from non-NMDARs, thus raising a mechanistic distinction between the two groups of iGluRs. We review mechanistic insights into iGluR functions gained through structural studies of multiple groups.

KEYWORDS:

ionotropic glutamate receptors; pharmacology; structural biology

PMID:
25941168
PMCID:
PMC4464829
DOI:
10.1016/j.tibs.2015.04.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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