2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate: The D-enantiomer is a potent and specific antagonist of NMDA glutamate receptors (RECEPTORS, N-METHYL-D-ASPARTATE). The L form is inactive at NMDA receptors but may affect the AP4 (2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate; APB) excitatory amino acid receptors.Quisqualic Acid: An agonist at two subsets of excitatory amino acid receptors, ionotropic receptors that directly control membrane channels and metabotropic receptors that indirectly mediate calcium mobilization from intracellular stores. The compound is obtained from the seeds and fruit of Quisqualis chinensis.N-Methylaspartate: An amino acid that, as the D-isomer, is the defining agonist for the NMDA receptor subtype of glutamate receptors (RECEPTORS, NMDA).Kynurenic Acid: A broad-spectrum excitatory amino acid antagonist used as a research tool.Receptors, Neurotransmitter: Cell surface receptors that bind signalling molecules released by neurons and convert these signals into intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. Neurotransmitter is used here in its most general sense, including not only messengers that act to regulate ion channels, but also those which act on second messenger systems and those which may act at a distance from their release sites. Included are receptors for neuromodulators, neuroregulators, neuromediators, and neurohumors, whether or not located at synapses.Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate: A class of ionotropic glutamate receptors characterized by affinity for N-methyl-D-aspartate. NMDA receptors have an allosteric binding site for glycine which must be occupied for the channel to open efficiently and a site within the channel itself to which magnesium ions bind in a voltage-dependent manner. The positive voltage dependence of channel conductance and the high permeability of the conducting channel to calcium ions (as well as to monovalent cations) are important in excitotoxicity and neuronal plasticity.Receptors, Amino Acid: Cell surface proteins that bind amino acids and trigger changes which influence the behavior of cells. Glutamate receptors are the most common receptors for fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the vertebrate central nervous system, and GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID and glycine receptors are the most common receptors for fast inhibition.6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione: A potent excitatory amino acid antagonist with a preference for non-NMDA iontropic receptors. It is used primarily as a research tool.Amino Acids: Organic compounds that generally contain an amino (-NH2) and a carboxyl (-COOH) group. Twenty alpha-amino acids are the subunits which are polymerized to form proteins.Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists: Drugs that bind to but do not activate excitatory amino acid receptors, thereby blocking the actions of agonists.Valine: A branched-chain essential amino acid that has stimulant activity. It promotes muscle growth and tissue repair. It is a precursor in the penicillin biosynthetic pathway.Aspartic Acid: One of the non-essential amino acids commonly occurring in the L-form. It is found in animals and plants, especially in sugar cane and sugar beets. It may be a neurotransmitter.Kainic Acid: (2S-(2 alpha,3 beta,4 beta))-2-Carboxy-4-(1-methylethenyl)-3-pyrrolidineacetic acid. Ascaricide obtained from the red alga Digenea simplex. It is a potent excitatory amino acid agonist at some types of excitatory amino acid receptors and has been used to discriminate among receptor types. Like many excitatory amino acid agonists it can cause neurotoxicity and has been used experimentally for that purpose.OxadiazolesQuinoxalinesGlutamic Acid: A non-essential amino acid naturally occurring in the L-form. Glutamic acid is the most common excitatory neurotransmitter in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Glutamates: Derivatives of GLUTAMIC ACID. Included under this heading are a broad variety of acid forms, salts, esters, and amides that contain the 2-aminopentanedioic acid structure.Receptors, Glutamate: Cell-surface proteins that bind glutamate and trigger changes which influence the behavior of cells. Glutamate receptors include ionotropic receptors (AMPA, kainate, and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors), which directly control ion channels, and metabotropic receptors which act through second messenger systems. Glutamate receptors are the most common mediators of fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the central nervous system. They have also been implicated in the mechanisms of memory and of many diseases.Synapses: Specialized junctions at which a neuron communicates with a target cell. At classical synapses, a neuron's presynaptic terminal releases a chemical transmitter stored in synaptic vesicles which diffuses across a narrow synaptic cleft and activates receptors on the postsynaptic membrane of the target cell. The target may be a dendrite, cell body, or axon of another neuron, or a specialized region of a muscle or secretory cell. Neurons may also communicate via direct electrical coupling with ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES. Several other non-synaptic chemical or electric signal transmitting processes occur via extracellular mediated interactions.Hippocampus: A curved elevation of GRAY MATTER extending the entire length of the floor of the TEMPORAL HORN of the LATERAL VENTRICLE (see also TEMPORAL LOBE). The hippocampus proper, subiculum, and DENTATE GYRUS constitute the hippocampal formation. Sometimes authors include the ENTORHINAL CORTEX in the hippocampal formation.Spinal Cord: A cylindrical column of tissue that lies within the vertebral canal. It is composed of WHITE MATTER and GRAY MATTER.Electric Stimulation: Use of electric potential or currents to elicit biological responses.Evoked Potentials: Electrical responses recorded from nerve, muscle, SENSORY RECEPTOR, or area of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM following stimulation. They range from less than a microvolt to several microvolts. The evoked potential can be auditory (EVOKED POTENTIALS, AUDITORY), somatosensory (EVOKED POTENTIALS, SOMATOSENSORY), visual (EVOKED POTENTIALS, VISUAL), or motor (EVOKED POTENTIALS, MOTOR), or other modalities that have been reported.Sequence Homology, Amino Acid: The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.Synaptic Transmission: The communication from a NEURON to a target (neuron, muscle, or secretory cell) across a SYNAPSE. In chemical synaptic transmission, the presynaptic neuron releases a NEUROTRANSMITTER that diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to specific synaptic receptors, activating them. The activated receptors modulate specific ion channels and/or second-messenger systems in the postsynaptic cell. In electrical synaptic transmission, electrical signals are communicated as an ionic current flow across ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES.Action Potentials: Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the CELL MEMBRANE of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli.Neurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.Amino Acid Substitution: The naturally occurring or experimentally induced replacement of one or more AMINO ACIDS in a protein with another. If a functionally equivalent amino acid is substituted, the protein may retain wild-type activity. Substitution may also diminish, enhance, or eliminate protein function. Experimentally induced substitution is often used to study enzyme activities and binding site properties.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.Amino Acids, Essential: Amino acids that are not synthesized by the human body in amounts sufficient to carry out physiological functions. They are obtained from dietary foodstuffs.Amino Acid Transport Systems: Cellular proteins and protein complexes that transport amino acids across biological membranes.Amino Acid Motifs: Commonly observed structural components of proteins formed by simple combinations of adjacent secondary structures. A commonly observed structure may be composed of a CONSERVED SEQUENCE which can be represented by a CONSENSUS SEQUENCE.Sequence Alignment: The arrangement of two or more amino acid or base sequences from an organism or organisms in such a way as to align areas of the sequences sharing common properties. The degree of relatedness or homology between the sequences is predicted computationally or statistically based on weights assigned to the elements aligned between the sequences. This in turn can serve as a potential indicator of the genetic relatedness between the organisms.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Escherichia coli: A species of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria (GRAM-NEGATIVE FACULTATIVELY ANAEROBIC RODS) commonly found in the lower part of the intestine of warm-blooded animals. It is usually nonpathogenic, but some strains are known to produce DIARRHEA and pyogenic infections. Pathogenic strains (virotypes) are classified by their specific pathogenic mechanisms such as toxins (ENTEROTOXIGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI), etc.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Binding Sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Amino Acids, Aromatic: Amino acids containing an aromatic side chain.Mutagenesis, Site-Directed: Genetically engineered MUTAGENESIS at a specific site in the DNA molecule that introduces a base substitution, or an insertion or deletion.Amino Acids, SulfurDNA, Complementary: Single-stranded complementary DNA synthesized from an RNA template by the action of RNA-dependent DNA polymerase. cDNA (i.e., complementary DNA, not circular DNA, not C-DNA) is used in a variety of molecular cloning experiments as well as serving as a specific hybridization probe.Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid: The sequential correspondence of nucleotides in one nucleic acid molecule with those of another nucleic acid molecule. Sequence homology is an indication of the genetic relatedness of different organisms and gene function.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.Protein Conformation: The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Leucine: An essential branched-chain amino acid important for hemoglobin formation.Models, Molecular: Models used experimentally or theoretically to study molecular shape, electronic properties, or interactions; includes analogous molecules, computer-generated graphics, and mechanical structures.Structure-Activity Relationship: The relationship between the chemical structure of a compound and its biological or pharmacological activity. Compounds are often classed together because they have structural characteristics in common including shape, size, stereochemical arrangement, and distribution of functional groups.Protein Structure, Tertiary: The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.Substrate Specificity: A characteristic feature of enzyme activity in relation to the kind of substrate on which the enzyme or catalytic molecule reacts.Protein Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.DNA: A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).Peptides: Members of the class of compounds composed of AMINO ACIDS joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures. OLIGOPEPTIDES are composed of approximately 2-12 amino acids. Polypeptides are composed of approximately 13 or more amino acids. PROTEINS are linear polypeptides that are normally synthesized on RIBOSOMES.Molecular Weight: The sum of the weight of all the atoms in a molecule.Bacterial Proteins: Proteins found in any species of bacterium.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.