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Glutamate receptors: from single molecules to physiology

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Glutamate receptors mediate excitatory responses in the mammalian central nervous system, and ultimately control motor and cognitive functions. AMPA mediate fast synaptic transmission by opening cation ion permeable channels upon binding glutamate. We use a combination of mutagenesis, single molecule FRET and luminescence resonance energy transfer methods, along with electrophysiological measurements to map the conformational landscape that the underlies this gating process of channel opening and desensitization in this protein. We also investigate how the gating properties are modulated by the presence auxiliary subunits such as gamma2 and gamma 8, as well as small molecule inhibitors, and determine the changes in the conformational landscape that underlie these modulatory functional changes.

This talk is part of the Biophysical Seminars series.

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