Article

Molecular tuning of fast gating in pentameric ligand-gated ion channels.

Laboratoire Récepteurs et Cognition, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 01/2006; 102(50):18207-12. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0509024102
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine (ACh) and glycine mediate fast synaptic neurotransmission by activating pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs). These receptors are allosteric transmembrane proteins that rapidly convert chemical messages into electrical signals. Neurotransmitters activate LGICs by interacting with an extracellular agonist-binding domain (ECD), triggering a tertiary/quaternary conformational change in the protein that results in the fast opening of an ion pore domain (IPD). However, the molecular mechanism that determines the fast opening of LGICs remains elusive. Here, we show by combining whole-cell and single-channel recordings of recombinant chimeras between the ECD of alpha7 nicotinic receptor (nAChR) and the IPD of the glycine receptor (GlyR) that only two GlyR amino acid residues of loop 7 (Cys-loop) from the ECD and at most five alpha7 nAChR amino acid residues of the M2-M3 loop (2-3L) from the IPD control the fast activation rates of the alpha7/Gly chimera and WT GlyR. Mutual interactions of these residues at a critical pivot point between the agonist-binding site and the ion channel fine-tune the intrinsic opening and closing rates of the receptor through stabilization of the transition state of activation. These data provide a structural basis for the fast opening of pentameric LGICs.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Antoine Taly, Jul 02, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
131 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cys-loop receptors are ligand-gated ion channels that are activated by a structurally diverse array of neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine, serotonin, glycine, and GABA. After the term "chemoreceptor" emerged over 100 years ago, there was some wait until affinity labeling, molecular cloning, functional studies, and X-ray crystallography experiments identified the extracellular interface of adjacent subunits as the principal site of agonist binding. The question of how subtle differences at and around agonist-binding sites of different Cys-loop receptors can accommodate transmitters as chemically diverse as glycine and serotonin has been subject to intense research over the last three decades. This review outlines the functional diversity and current structural understanding of agonist-binding sites, including those of invertebrate Cys-loop receptors. Together, this provides a framework to understand the atomic determinants involved in how these valuable therapeutic targets recognize and bind their ligands.
    Frontiers in Physiology 04/2014; 5:160. DOI:10.3389/fphys.2014.00160 · 3.50 Impact Factor
  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ivermectin is an anthelmintic drug that works by inhibiting neuronal activity and muscular contractility in arthropods and nematodes. It works by activating glutamate-gated chloride channels (GluClRs) at nanomolar concentrations. These receptors, found exclusively in invertebrates, belong to the pentameric Cys-loop receptor family of ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs). Higher (micromolar) concentrations of ivermectin also activate or modulate vertebrate Cys-loop receptors, including the excitatory nicotinic and the inhibitory GABA type-A and glycine receptors (GlyRs). An X-ray crystal structure of ivermectin complexed with the C. elegans α GluClR demonstrated that ivermectin binds to the transmembrane domain in a cleft at the interface of adjacent subunits. It also identified three hydrogen bonds thought to attach ivermectin to its site. Site-directed mutagenesis and voltage-clamp electrophysiology have also been employed to probe the binding site for ivermectin in α1 GlyRs. These have raised doubts as to whether the hydrogen bonds are essential for high ivermectin potency. Due to its lipophilic nature, it is likely that ivermectin accumulates in the membrane and binds reversibly (i.e., weakly) to its site. Several lines of evidence suggest that ivermectin opens the channel pore via a structural change distinct from that induced by the neurotransmitter agonist. Conformational changes occurring at locations distant from the pore can be probed using voltage-clamp fluorometry (VCF), a technique which involves quantitating agonist-induced fluorescence changes from environmentally sensitive fluorophores covalently attached to receptor domains of interest. This technique has demonstrated that ivermectin induces a global conformational change that propagates from the transmembrane domain to the neurotransmitter binding site, thus suggesting a mechanism by which ivermectin potentiates neurotransmitter-gated currents. Together, this information provides new insights into the mechanisms of action of this important drug.
    Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 05/2012; 5:60. DOI:10.3389/fnmol.2012.00060