The acetylcholine nicotinic receptor is among the most studied receptors in neuroscience. Involved in muscle contraction and a wide variety of other neurological functions, including the processing of nicotine, it was the first receptor to be isolated and observed at the molecular level, providing a major research pathway for scientists working in neuroscience, biochemistry, pharmacology, and behavioral science. This book describes four decades of scientific research that inform our current understanding of this receptor. Jean-Pierre Changeux and Stuart J. Edelstein played important roles in pioneering research on the acetylcholine nicotinic receptor and on allosteric proteins, and here they reveal the complete scientific trajectory of that research. They begin with a historical perspective, describing how several fields converged around a single receptor and then explain the initial receptor purification and characterization. Subsequent chapters trace the investigations into various aspects of receptor structure and function, including the chemical structure of the binding site, the identity and properties of the ion channel, and the mechanism of signal transmission.
In the final portion of the book, Changeux and Edelstein discuss recent studies on the three-dimensional structure of the receptor molecule and share their novel understanding of inherited diseases such as congenital myasthenia and epilepsy. They also address the integration of the receptor into its synaptic membrane environment and its distribution, physiology, and regulation in brain functions and cognition. Richly illustrated and lucidly written, this book provides an exceptional opportunity for scientists and students to follow a historic advance in our knowledge of molecular mechanisms and the workings of the brain.
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 930 g
Dimensions: 235 x 178 x 22 mm