Structure and mechanism of glutamate receptor ion channel assembly, activation and modulation

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2011 Apr;21(2):283-90. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2011.02.001. Epub 2011 Feb 23.


Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) are ligand gated ion channels that mediate excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain of vertebrates. A rapidly growing body of crystal structures for isolated iGluR extracellular domains, and more recently a full length AMPA receptor, combined with data from electrophysiological experiments and MD simulations, provides a framework that makes it possible to investigate the molecular basis for assembly, gating and modulation. These unprecedented advances in structural biology are constantly challenged by novel functional properties that emerge despite decades of functional analysis, and by a growing family of auxiliary proteins that modulate iGluR activity and assembly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary*
  • Receptors, Glutamate / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Glutamate / physiology*
  • Receptors, Glutamate / ultrastructure*


  • Receptors, Glutamate