The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) are ligand-gated ion channels involved in cognitive processes and are associated with brain disorders which makes them interesting drug targets. This article presents a general overview of the receptor to introduce the α7 nAChR as a drug target. The advances in understanding of the structure/function properties of the nAChR produced during the last decade are detailed as they are crucial for rational drug design. The allosteric properties of the nAChR will also be described because they also have important consequences for drug design.
Keywords: α7-Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors, Alzheimer disease, tobacco dependance, schizophrenia, cognitive processes, allosteric, deug design, bacteria, prokaryotic LGIC, AChBP
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