Structure and mechanism of AMPA receptor — auxiliary protein complexes

Shanshuang Chen, Eric Gouaux

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Ionotropic glutamate receptors in vertebrates are composed of three major subtypes – AMPA, kainate, and NMDA receptors – and mediate the majority of fast excitatory neurotransmission at chemical synapses of the central nervous system. Among the three major families, native AMPA receptors function as complexes with a variety of auxiliary subunits, which in turn modulate receptor trafficking, gating, pharmacology, and permeation. Despite the long history of structure-mechanism studies using soluble receptor domains or intact yet isolated receptors, structures of AMPA receptor-auxiliary subunit complexes have not been available until recent breakthroughs in single-particle cryo-electron microscopy. Single particle cryo-EM studies have, in turn, provided new insights into the structure and organization of AMPA receptor — auxiliary protein complexes and into the molecular mechanisms of AMPA receptor activation and desensitization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology
StatePublished - Feb 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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