Skip to main content

Activation Mechanism of a Glutamate Receptor

Objective

Glutamate receptors are amongst the most important signalling molecules in the brain. Activation of receptors by the neurotransmitter glutamate is required for nervous system function, underlying cognition, learning, memory and sensation. Despite advances in the study of their structural biology and physiology, how glutamate receptor complexes are activated remains unclear. With this proposal, we aim to determine how receptor activation and desensitisation are driven by glutamate binding. Our central approach is to map the motions of glutamate receptors during synaptic-like activity, in order to grab the frames needed to produce the movie of receptor activation. We aim to detect motion within the receptor on the angstrom scale by trapping conformational states during activation with artificial metal ion binding sites and disulfide bonds. Trapped receptors will be examined using biochemical measures of subunit association, biophysical reports of receptor activity and by structural biology. The results we obtain will be useful to rationally interfere with excitatory synapses in the brain and may therefore help the development of therapies.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/electrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering/electronic engineering/computer hardware
  • /humanities/arts/modern and contemporary art/film
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/molecular biology/structural biology
  • /natural sciences/mathematics/pure mathematics/geometry
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/neurobiology

Call for proposal

ERC-2014-CoG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-COG - Consolidator Grant

Host institution

FORSCHUNGSVERBUND BERLIN EV
Address
Rudower Chaussee 17
12489 Berlin
Germany
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 1 981 500

Beneficiaries (1)

FORSCHUNGSVERBUND BERLIN EV
Germany
EU contribution
€ 1 981 500
Address
Rudower Chaussee 17
12489 Berlin
Activity type
Research Organisations