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Molecular targets and mechanisms for ethanol action in glycine receptors.


ABSTRACT: Glycine receptors (GlyRs) are recognized as the primary mediators of neuronal inhibition in the spinal cord, brain stem and higher brain regions known to be sensitive to ethanol. Building evidence supports the notion that ethanol acting on GlyRs causes at least a subset of its behavioral effects and may be involved in modulating ethanol intake. For over two decades, GlyRs have been studied at the molecular level as targets for ethanol action. Despite the advances in understanding the effects of ethanol in vivo and in vitro, the precise molecular sites and mechanisms of action for ethanol in ligand-gated ion channels in general, and in GlyRs specifically, are just now starting to become understood. The present review focuses on advances in our knowledge produced by using molecular biology, pressure antagonism, electrophysiology and molecular modeling strategies over the last two decades to probe, identify and model the initial molecular sites and mechanisms of ethanol action in GlyRs. The molecular targets on the GlyR are covered on a global perspective, which includes the intracellular, transmembrane and extracellular domains. The latter has received increasing attention in recent years. Recent molecular models of the sites of ethanol action in GlyRs and their implications to our understanding of possible mechanism of ethanol action and novel targets for drug development in GlyRs are discussed.

SUBMITTER: Perkins DI 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2891126 | BioStudies | 2010-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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