Detailed images of NMDA receptors help explain how zinc and a drug affect their function

In Neuron, a team at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) reveals for the first time the structure of a portion of an important brain cell receptor, called the NMDA (N-methyl D-aspartate) receptor. The newly mapped portion of NMDA receptor is responsible for recognizing zinc, an element common throughout the brain that can inhibit a class of NMDA receptors.

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