Membrane proteins function in a polarized ionic environment with sodium-rich extracellular and potassium-rich intracellular solutions. Glutamate receptors that mediate excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain show unusual sensitivity to external ions, resulting in an apparent requirement for sodium in order for glutamate to activate kainate receptors. Here, we solve the structure of the Na(+)-binding sites and determine the mechanism by which allosteric anions and cations regulate ligand...Expand abstract
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Molecular basis of kainate receptor modulation by sodium.
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