Glutamate Binding-Site Ligands of NMDA Receptors

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Excitatory neurotransmission mediated by NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartic acid) receptors plays a key role in both healthy and diseased processes in the brain. Therefore, bioactive compounds that can interact selectively with these receptors have been the aim of extensive research in the search of effective therapeutic agents or, at least, useful pharmacological tools. NMDA receptors are heteromeric ion channels that contain different modulatory sites capable to bind subunit-selective ligands. In particular, the activation of NMDA receptors requires two distinct ligands: glutamate (the endogenous agonist) and glycine (the co-agonist). In view of the renewed interest in this research area and the high therapeutic potential of this target, this review presents an updated survey of ligands which interact with the glutamate binding-site of the NMDA receptors, their rational development, and data on the structure-activity relationship which are of utmost importance for the design of novel lead compounds.

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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