Acetylcholine receptor: an allosteric protein

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Science  21 Sep 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4668, pp. 1335-1345
DOI: 10.1126/science.6382611


The nicotine receptor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is an allosteric protein composed of four different subunits assembled in a transmembrane pentamer alpha 2 beta gamma delta. The protein carries two acetylcholine sites at the level of the alpha subunits and contains the ion channel. The complete sequence of the four subunits is known. The membrane-bound protein undergoes conformational transitions that regulate the opening of the ion channel and are affected by various categories of pharmacologically active ligands.