Unblocking of NMDA receptor
Species Homo sapiens
NMDA receptors are activated in a two step mechanism; first by the removal of the voltage dependent Mg2+ block and then by the ligand dependent activation of the unblocked NMDA receptor. At resting membrane potential NMDA receptors can not be activated by ligand alone due to the presence of Mg2+ ion in the pore of the channel. Due to the activation of other membrane resident channels that allow the influx of Na+ the membrane is depolarized which triggers the removal of Mg2+ form the NMDA receptor pore. Once the Mg2+ is expelled NMDA receptors are ready to be activated by the agonist (glutamate) and the co-agonist (glycine).
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