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Biophys J. 1982 Jan;37(1):371-83.

Structure and function of an acetylcholine receptor.


Structural analysis of an acetylcholine receptor from Torpedo californica leads to a three-dimensional model in which a "monomeric" receptor is shown to contain subunits arranged around a central ionophoretic channel, which in turn traverses the entire 110 A length of the molecule. The receptor extends approximately 15 A on the cytoplasmic side, 55 A on the synaptic side of the membrane. The alpha-bungarotoxin/agonist binding site is found to be approximately 55 A from the entrance to the central gated ion channel. A hypothesis for the mechanism of AcChR is presented which takes into account the structural and kinetic data, which is testable, and which serves as a focus for future studies on the agonist-induced structure change in AcChR.

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