Date of Award

Summer 2001

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




There is currently a tremendous interest in determining the molecular mechanism and the structural protein changes induced on two specific types of neurotransmitter receptors, namely the glutamate receptors, and the GABA receptors upon binding to specific ligands. These receptors are implicated in various neurological disorders ranging from panic disorders to epilepsy, and current medications and therapies are not fully effective to treat these diseases. Therefore a fundamental investigation that focuses on the structure and function of these receptors is essential. In this investigation, we have focused on the AMP A-subtype of the glutamate receptors and the GABAA receptors, which are ligand-gated neurotransmitter receptors. This research project is aimed at identifying the steps that lead to the opening of these receptors upon binding to specific agonists in both normal and epileptic brain receptors, and the mechanism of modulation of the receptor function by an anticonvulsant drug. In addition, the ligand-receptor interactions were investigated...



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