Despite widespread use of volatile general anesthetics in millions of patients each year, the mechanisms by which they exert multiple effects on the behavior of central neurons are poorly understood. PDZ [postsynaptic density 95 (PSD-95), discs large (Dlg), and zonula occludens-1 (Z0-1)] domains are ubiquitous protein interaction modules that participate in neuronal signaling. Recent studies have indicated that clinically relevant concentrations of inhaled anesthetics dose-dependently and specifically inhibit the PDZ domain-mediated protein interactions among multiprotein signaling complexes. These inhibitory effects are immediate, potent, reversible, and occur at a hydrophobic peptide-binding groove on the surface of the PDZ domain. Thus, the PDZ domain might be a new molecular target for inhalational anesthetics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine