Figure 282

Nicotinic ACh receptor (AChR) at the muscle end plate. A. The AChR is a pentameric complex made up of five subunits surrounding a central conducting channel. Embryonic AChR, containing the 7-subunit as shown, is a low-conducting channel. Adult AChR has instead an e-subunit and is a high-conducting channel. B. Cooperative binding of two ACh (ACh) molecules produces a conformational change that results in channel opening. C. The open channel allows Na+ and Ca++ to enter and K+ to exit simultaneously. The result is a net inflow of positive charge and a membrane depolarization.

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