A Photochromic Agonist of AMPA Receptors


  • P.S. is grateful to the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie for a Kekulé Fellowship. We thank S. Strych, D. T. Hog, D. Woodmansee, and V. Erdmann for their helpful discussions. This work was funded by SFB 870 and the ERC (grant no. 268795).


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Light switch: A photochromic agonist ATA-3 (see scheme) of AMPA receptors, arguably the most important class of ionotropic glutamate receptors, is shown to be subtype selective, activates the AMPA receptor GluA2 in the dark, and is quickly turned off when irradiated with blue–green light. It can be used to effectively control neuronal activity in the mammalian brain.