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Subunit Characterization of NMDA Receptors

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NMDA receptors are a subclass of excitatory, ionotropic L-glutamate neurotransmitter receptors. They are.heteromeric, integral membrane proteins being formed by the assembly of the obligatory NR1 subunit together with modulatory NR2 subunits of which four different types, NR2A - NR2D, have been described. This results in a heterogenous population of receptor proteins with distinct pharmacological and biophysical properties thus yielding potential for the development of NMDA receptor subtype-selective therapeutic agents. Anti-NMDA receptor subunit antibodies have been generated and used in immunoprecipitation or immunoaffinity purification studies to determine the in vivo subunit complements of NMDA receptors. This article summarizes knowledge on the subunit compositions of NMDA receptors based on these approaches together with the current status of NMDA receptor subunit stoichiometry and hence quaternary structure. of native NMDA receptors.
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Keywords: NMDA Receptors; NR2A and NR2B; immunoprecipitation

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2001-09-01

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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