Contact: Peter Tarr
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Caption: Overactivation of NMDA receptors causes nerve-cell toxicity, implicated in several devastating neurological and psychiatric illnesses. A drug is sought to selectively block or antagonize NMDA receptors, while not affecting other types of glutamate receptors. Here, crystal structures obtained by the Furukawa lab reveal four ways in which compounds bind the receptor (from left to right, top, then bottom): L-glutamate (an activator of the receptor); and 3 drug-like compounds that to varying degrees block the receptor: DCKA; D-AP5; and PPDA.
Credit: Furukawa Lab, CSHL
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Related news release: Unprecedented structural insights: NMDA receptors can be blocked to limit neurotoxicity