Adult and Fetal Torpedo nAChR

Duke Groebe drg at prophet.pharm.pitt.edu
Fri Jan 12 13:13:42 EST 1996


I've been mulling over an issue that I thought I'd present here.  In
nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) from embryonic muscle, the
subunits are alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.  In nAChR from adult muscle,
the gamma is replaced by the epsilon subunit.

Traditionally, nicotinic receptors from Torpedo electric organ are
characterized as having alpha, beta, gamma, and delta subunits.  So my
question is, are these the fetal subunits or the adult subunits? 
Furthermore, if one were to characterize the nicotinic receptors from
actual Torpedo *muscle*, would one find that the gamma subunit had been
replaced by an epsilon subunit?  Do embryonic Torpedo nicotinic receptors
have the same four subunits as found in the electric organ or is there yet
a different combination of subunits?

Or is it just a matter of nomenclature?

Duke Groebe

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