Module 3: Figure nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gating

Proposed gating mechanism of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

In this model, the binding of acetylcholine is thought to rotate the α subunits, which is transmitted to the gate in the plane of the membrane. These rotations are possible because these moving parts are isolated from the outer parts of the channel by flexible loops that contain glycine residues (G). The disulphide bond (S–S) also provides a pivot for the ligand-binding domain. Reproduced by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: Nature, Miyazawa, A., Fujiyoshi, Y. and Unwin, N. (2003) Structure and gating mechanism of the acetylcholine receptor pore. 423:949–955. Copyright (2003);; see Miyazawa et al. 2003.