User:Eugene M. Izhikevich/Proposed/NMDA receptor
Dr. Graham L. Collingridge accepted the invitation on 18 March 2007 (self-imposed deadline: 18 June 2007).
This article will briefly cover: The discovery of the NMDA receptor, its unusual properties (Mg block, slow kinetics, Ca permeability, voltage-dependence, glycine co-agonist site), its role in synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity and diseases.
The NMDA receptor is one of the four major classes of receptors that respond to L-glutamate, the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. It is named after the synthetic chemical N-methyl-D-aspartate, which is a highly selective agonist for this receptor. THe NMDA receptor (NMDAR) has unique properties that distinguishes it from the other three major glutamate receptor classes - AMPA receptors, kainate receptors and metabotropic receptors.
The NMDAR is a tetramer, which is made up from various combinations of the subunits NR1, NR2A, NR2B, NR2C, NR2D, NR3A and NR3B. Most NMDARs contain 2 NR1 subunits, which bind the co-agonist glycine and two NR2 subunits, which bind the agonist L-glutamate.