The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of the neuromuscular junction are members of a superfamily called ligand gated receptors; meaning that the recognition site for the ligand, in this case acetylcholine, and the effector, a channel for passing ions across the membrane, are both in the same macromolecule. The binding of the ligand causes a change in the shape of the molecule which opens the channel and allows ions to flow across the membrane. The channel closes when the ligand leaves. Thus the name. The ligand “gates” the ion flow.
KeywordsAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Nerve Ending Neuromuscular Junction Nicotinic Receptor Muscle Membrane
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