A binding protein for corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF) was identified in the early 1990s and exploited as a potential drug discovery target (92). This protein, which acted as a reservoir for CRF, seemed to be unique to the CRF neurotransmitter system. However, a soluble acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) has recently been described that modulates synaptic transmission in the mollusk, L. stag-suggesting that neurotransmitter binding proteins may play a more general role in buffering synaptic message transfer. Equally importantly, the structure of this soluble AChBP has also provided important information about the ligand-binding domain of nicotinic receptors (94) and is being used to model the receptor itself (75).
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