Unexpectedly, the affinity of the seven-transmembrane muscarinic acetylcholine receptors for their agonists is modulated by membrane depolarization. Recent reports attribute this characteristic to an embedded charge movement in the muscarinic receptor, acting as a voltage sensor. However, this explanation is inconsistent with the results of experiments measuring acetylcholine binding to muscarinic receptors in brain synaptoneurosomes. According to these results, the gating of the voltage-dependent sodium channel (VDSC) acts as the voltage sensor, generating activation of Go-proteins in response to membrane depolarization, and this modulates the affinity of muscarinic receptors for their cholinergic agonists.
- muscarinic receptors
- voltage-dependent muscarinic receptors’ signaling
- voltage-dependent sodium channels