Ligand Specificity and Gene Expression in the Cholinergic Synapse

A Comparison between Acetylcholinesterase and the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor
  • Palmer Taylor
  • Zoran Radić
  • Hans-Jürgen Kreienkamp
  • Zhigang Luo
  • Natilie A. Pickering
  • Shelley Camp


Upon first inspection, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAchR) share several functional and structural characteristics. Both recognize the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, and elicit the respective actions of catalysis of the neurotransmitter and neurotransmitter-induced channel opening in a millisecond time frame. Their relative stoichiometries at various synapses are carefully regulated within precise limits. Homologous toxins, the fasciculins and a-neurotoxins (i. e., α-cobratoxin and α-bungaro-toxin), which have nearly identical tertiary structures, inhibit the two respective proteins at concentrations in the picomolar to subpicomolar range. Finally, the two proteins show coordinated expression during development.


Ligand Specificity Catalytic Triad Cholinergic Synapse Subunit Assembly Peripheral Anionic Site 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Palmer Taylor
    • 1
  • Zoran Radić
    • 1
  • Hans-Jürgen Kreienkamp
    • 1
  • Zhigang Luo
    • 1
  • Natilie A. Pickering
    • 1
  • Shelley Camp
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology School of MedicineUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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