Two neighboring residues of loop A of the alpha1 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: 3.58). 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.

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    ABSTRACT: Benzodiazepines (BZDs) exert their therapeutic actions by binding to the GABA(A) receptor (GABA(A)R) and allosterically modulating GABA-induced chloride currents (I(GABA)). A variety of ligands with divergent structures bind to the BZD site, and the structural mechanisms that couple their binding to potentiation of I(GABA) are not well understood. In this study, we measured the effects of individually mutating 22 residues throughout the BZD binding pocket on the abilities of eszopiclone, zolpidem, and flurazepam to potentiate I(GABA). Wild-type and mutant α(1)β(2)γ(2) GABA(A)Rs were expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and analyzed using a two-electrode voltage clamp. GABA EC(50), BZD EC(50), and BZD maximal potentiation were measured. These data, combined with previous radioligand binding data describing the mutations' effects on BZD apparent binding affinities (J Neurosci 28:3490-3499, 2008; J Med Chem 51:7243-7252, 2008), were used to distinguish residues within the BZD pocket that contribute to BZD efficacy and BZD binding. We identified six residues whose mutation altered BZD maximal potentiation of I(GABA) (BZD efficacy) without altering BZD binding apparent affinity, three residues whose mutation altered binding but had no effect on BZD efficacy, and four residues whose mutation affected both binding and efficacy. Moreover, depending on the BZD ligand, the effects of some mutations were different, indicating that the structural mechanisms underlying the ability of BZD ligands with divergent structures to potentiate I(GABA) are distinct.
    Molecular pharmacology 03/2011; 80(1):14-22. · 4.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Classical benzodiazepines, such as diazepam, interact with α(x)β(2)γ(2) GABA(A) receptors, x = 1, 2, 3, 5 and modulate their function. Modulation of different receptor isoforms probably results in selective behavioural effects as sedation and anxiolysis. Knowledge of differences in the structure of the binding pocket in different receptor isoforms is of interest for the generation of isoform-specific ligands. We studied here the interaction of the covalently reacting diazepam analogue 3-NCS with α(1)S204Cβ(2)γ(2), α(1)S205Cβ(2)γ(2) and α(1)T206Cβ(2)γ(2) and with receptors containing the homologous mutations in α(2)β(2)γ(2), α(3)β(2)γ(2), α(5)β(1/2)γ(2) and α(6)β(2)γ(2). The interaction was studied using radioactive ligand binding and at the functional level using electrophysiological techniques. Both strategies gave overlapping results. Our data allow conclusions about the relative apposition of α(1)S204Cβ(2)γ(2), α(1)S205Cβ(2)γ(2) and α(1)T206Cβ(2)γ(2) and homologous positions in α(2), α(3), α(5) and α(6) with C-atom adjacent to the keto-group in diazepam. Together with similar data on the C-atom carrying Cl in diazepam, they indicate that the architecture of the binding site for benzodiazepines differs in each GABA(A) receptor isoform α(1)β(2)γ(2), α(2)β(2)γ(2), α(3)β(2)γ(2), α(5)β(1/2)γ(2) and α(6)β(2)γ(2).
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e42101. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    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. · 3.73 Impact Factor

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