Interaction of fluorescent analogues of acetylcholine with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and acetylcholine esterase
Time-resolved electrophysiological studies of end-plate responses to acetylcholine and cholinergic agonists define the time range for molecular studies in which the events at the neuromuscular junction may be simulated in vitro. Since this time range is of the order of milliseconds, rapid kinetic techniques have to be employed. Suitable ligands for such studies require the following combination of properties: (1) they must have suitable spectroscopic properties, such as fluorescence with high quantum yield, and excitation and emission remote from the ultraviolet-absorption range of proteins; (2) their pharmacological properties must closely resemble those of the natural transmitter and, in particular, must be uncomplicated by side effects which may obscure interpretation of kinetic data.
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