So far, GABAA receptors have not been crystallized and thus, structural information on these receptors is only available via homology modeling studies using the crystal structure of the Acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) and the nACh receptor as templates (see Margot Ernst). Although such structural models of GABAA receptors provided important information on these receptors, they are not very accurate especially in the ligand binding domains of the receptors, where the homology is especially low between the AChBP and the GABAA receptors. Several years ago we therefore started to overexpress recombinant GABAA receptors or fragments thereof in various expression systems with the aim to purify large amounts of this protein for subsequent crystallization studies. In 2008 financial support for this project was obtained as part of the EC integrated project ?NeuroCypres?, that aims to crystallize a variety of Cys-loop receptors within the next few years.
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