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Biophysical Journal Volume 68 March 1995 815-825 Geometric and Many-Particle Aspects of Transmitter Binding
 

Summary: Biophysical Journal Volume 68 March 1995 815-825
Geometric and Many-Particle Aspects of Transmitter Binding
Noam Agmon and Arieh L. Edelstein
Department of Physical Chemistry and the Fritz Haber Research Center, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91904 Israel
ABSTRACT We investigate the various reactivity patterns possible when several transmitter molecules, released at one side
of a synaptic gap, diffuse and bind reversibly to a single receptor at the other end. In the framework of a one-dimensional
approximation, the complete time, reactivity, concentration and gap-width dependence are determined, using a rigorous theo-
retical and computational approach to the many-body aspects of this problem. The time dependence of the survival probability
is found to consist of up to four phases. These include a short delay followed by gaussian, power-law, and exponential decay
phases. A rigorous expression is derived for the long-time exponent and approximate expressions are obtained for describing
the short-time gaussian phase.
INTRODUCTION
One of the most extensively studied model systems for syn-
aptic transmission is the nicotinic acetylcholine (Ach) re-
ceptor at the neuromuscular junction (Magleby and Stevens,
1972). An action potential at the presynaptic membrane trig-
gers the exocytosis of synaptic vesicles. Each vesicle has a
diameter of25-50 nm and contains a few thousand Ach mol-
ecules. These are released into the synaptic cleft, -50 nm
wide, where they diffuse and are rapidly hydrolyzed by the

  

Source: Agmon, Noam - Institute of Chemistry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

 

Collections: Chemistry