Two neighboring residues of loop A of the α1 subunit point towards the benzodiazepine binding site of GABAA receptors

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Bern, Bühlstrasse 28, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland.
FEBS Letters (Impact Factor: 3.34). 11/2007; 581(24):4718-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2007.08.068
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Benzodiazepines are widely used drugs exerting sedative, anxiolytic, muscle relaxant, and anticonvulsant effects by acting through specific high affinity binding sites on some GABA(A) receptors. It is important to understand how these ligands are positioned in this binding site. We are especially interested here in the conformation of loop A of the alpha(1)beta(2)gamma(2) GABA(A) receptor containing a key residue for the interaction of benzodiazepines: alpha(1)H101. We describe a direct interaction of alpha(1)N102 with a diazepam- and an imidazobenzodiazepine-derivative. Our observations help to better understand the conformation of this region of the benzodiazepine pocket in GABA(A) receptor.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: High throughput discovery of ligand scaffolds for target proteins can accelerate development of leads and drug candidates enormously. Here we describe an innovative workflow for the discovery of high affinity ligands for the benzodiazepine-binding site on the so far not crystallized mammalian GABAA receptors. The procedure includes chemical biology techniques that may be generally applied to other proteins. Prerequisites are a ligand that can be chemically modified with cysteine-reactive groups, knowledge on amino acid residues contributing to the drug binding pocket and either crystal structures of proteins homologous to the target protein, or better of the target itself. Part of the protocol is virtual screening that without additional rounds of optimization in many cases only results in low affinity ligands, even when a target protein has been crystallized. Here we show how the integration of functional data into structure-based screening dramatically improves the performance of the virtual screening. Thus, lead compounds with 14 different scaffolds were identified on the basis of an updated structural model of the diazepam bound state of the GABAA receptor. Some of these compounds show considerable preference for the α3β2γ2 GABAA receptor subtype.
    ACS Chemical Biology 06/2014; 9(8). DOI:10.1021/cb5001873 · 5.36 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: GABAA receptors are the major inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. Benzodiazepine exert their action via a high affinity-binding site at the α/γ subunit interface on some of these receptors. Diazepam has sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic, muscle relaxant and anticonvulsant effects. It acts by potentiating the current evoked by the agonist GABA. Understanding specific interaction of benzodiazepines in the binding pocket of different GABAA receptor isoforms might help to separate these divergent effects. As a first step we characterized the interaction between diazepam and the major GABAA receptor isoform α1β2γ2. We mutated several amino acid residues on the γ2-subunit assumed to be located near or in the benzodiazepine binding pocket individually to cysteine and studied the interaction with three ligands that are modified with a cysteine-reactive isothiocyanate group (-NCS). When the reactive NCS group is in apposition to the cysteine residue this leads to a covalent reaction. In this way, three amino acid residues, γ2Tyr58, γ2Asn60 and γ2Val190 were located relative to classical benzodiazepines in their binding pocket on GABAA receptors.
    ACS Chemical Biology 06/2014; 9(8). DOI:10.1021/cb500186a · 5.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present a full-length α(1)β(2)γ(2) GABA receptor model optimized for agonists and benzodiazepine (BZD) allosteric modulators. We propose binding hypotheses for the agonists GABA, muscimol and THIP and for the allosteric modulator diazepam (DZP). The receptor model is primarily based on the glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl) from C. elegans and includes additional structural information from the prokaryotic ligand-gated ion channel ELIC in a few regions. Available mutational data of the binding sites are well explained by the model and the proposed ligand binding poses. We suggest a GABA binding mode similar to the binding mode of glutamate in the GluCl X-ray structure. Key interactions are predicted with residues α(1)R66, β(2)T202, α(1)T129, β(2)E155, β(2)Y205 and the backbone of β(2)S156. Muscimol is predicted to bind similarly, however, with minor differences rationalized with quantum mechanical energy calculations. Muscimol key interactions are predicted to be α(1)R66, β(2)T202, α(1)T129, β(2)E155, β(2)Y205 and β(2)F200. Furthermore, we argue that a water molecule could mediate further interactions between muscimol and the backbone of β(2)S156 and β(2)Y157. DZP is predicted to bind with interactions comparable to those of the agonists in the orthosteric site. The carbonyl group of DZP is predicted to interact with two threonines α(1)T206 and γ(2)T142, similar to the acidic moiety of GABA. The chlorine atom of DZP is placed near the important α(1)H101 and the N-methyl group near α(1)Y159, α(1)T206, and α(1)Y209. We present a binding mode of DZP in which the pending phenyl moiety of DZP is buried in the binding pocket and thus shielded from solvent exposure. Our full length GABA(A) receptor is made available as Model S1.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e52323. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0052323 · 3.53 Impact Factor