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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2017 Mar 17;18(4):236-249. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2017.24.

NMDA receptors: linking physiological output to biophysical operation.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, University of Buffalo, State University of New York (SUNY), 144 Farber Hall, 3435 Main street, Buffalo, New York 14214, USA.

Abstract

NMDA receptors are preeminent neurotransmitter-gated channels in the CNS, which respond to glutamate in a manner that integrates multiple external and internal cues. They belong to the ionotropic glutamate receptor family and fulfil unique and crucial roles in neuronal development and function. These roles depend on characteristic response kinetics, which reflect the operation of the receptors. Here, we review biologically salient features of the NMDA receptor signal and its mechanistic origins. Knowledge of distinctive NMDA receptor biophysical properties, their structural determinants and physiological roles is necessary to understand the physiological and neurotoxic actions of glutamate and to design effective therapeutics.

PMID:
28303017
PMCID:
PMC5640446
DOI:
10.1038/nrn.2017.24
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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