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Figure 4
The positioning of a cholesterol-rich microdomain against the δ subunit suggests that cholesterol may play a mechanical role, restricting the mobility of δ so that β can tilt outwards to open the channel. The movements leading to channel opening, depicted in the figure, are based on the results described in Unwin & Fujiyoshi (2012BB42). ACh binding to the receptor in the extracellular domain causes αγ to push against the extracellular part of β (wide arrow), which is linked via (flexible) loops to the α-helical membrane-spanning part. As a result, the α-helical part of β tilts outwards (thin arrow).

Volume 4| Part 4| July 2017| Pages 393-399
ISSN: 2052-2525