Article

On the benzodiazepine binding pocket in GABA(A) receptors

Department of Pharmacology, University of Bern, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.6). 02/2004; 279(5):3160-8. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M311371200
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Benzodiazepines are used for their sedative/hypnotic, anxiolytic, muscle relaxant, and anticonvulsive effects. They exert their actions through a specific high affinity binding site on the major inhibitory neurotransmitter receptor, the gamma-aminobutyric acid, type A (GABA(A)) receptor channel, where they act as positive allosteric modulators. To start to elucidate the relative positioning of benzodiazepine binding site ligands in their binding pocket, GABA(A) receptor residues thought to reside in the site were individually mutated to cysteine and combined with benzodiazepine analogs carrying substituents reactive to cysteine. Direct apposition of such reactive partners is expected to lead to an irreversible site-directed reaction. We describe here the covalent interaction of alpha(1)H101C with a reactive group attached to the C-7 position of diazepam. This interaction was studied at the level of radioactive ligand binding and at the functional level using electrophysiological methods. Covalent reaction occurs concomitantly with occupancy of the binding pocket. It stabilizes the receptor in its allosterically stimulated conformation. Covalent modification is not observed in wild type receptors or when using mutated alpha(1)H101C-containing receptors in combination with the reactive ligand pre-reacted with a sulfhydryl group, and the modification rate is reduced by the binding site ligand Ro15-1788. We present in addition evidence that gamma(2)Ala-79 is probably located in the access pathway of the ligand to its binding pocket.

0 Followers
 · 
73 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    FEBS Letters 11/2007; 581(24):4718-22. DOI:10.1016/j.febslet.2007.08.068 · 3.34 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This review discusses evidence for and apparent controversy about, gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor (GABAAR) subtypes that mediate alcohol effects experienced during social drinking. GABAARs that contain the beta3 and delta subunits were shown to be enhanced by alcohol concentrations that mirror the concentration dependence of alcohol responses in humans. A mutation (alpha6R100Q) previously found in alcohol nontolerant rats in the cerebellar GABAAR alpha6 subunit is sufficient for increased alcohol-induced ataxia in rats homozygous for this mutation (alpha6-100QQ) and further increases alcohol sensitivity of tonic GABA currents (mediated by alpha6betadelta receptors) in cerebellar granule cells of alpha6-100QQ rats and in recombinant alpha6R100Qbeta3delta receptors. This provided the first direct evidence that these types of receptors mediate behavioral effects of ethanol. Furthermore, the behavioral alcohol antagonist Ro15-4513 specifically reverses ethanol enhancement on alpha4/6beta3delta receptors. Unexpectedly, native and recombinant alpha4/6beta3delta receptors bind the behavioral alcohol antagonist Ro15-4513 with high affinity and this binding is competitive with EtOH, suggesting a specific and mutually exclusive (competitive) ethanol/Ro15-4513 site, which explains the puzzling activity of Ro15-4513 as a behavioral alcohol antagonist. Our conclusion from these findings is that alcohol/Ro15-4513-sensitive GABAAR subtypes are important alcohol targets and that alcohol at relevant concentrations is more specific than previously thought. In this review, we discuss technical difficulties in expressing recombinant delta subunit-containing receptors in oocytes and mammalian cells that may have contributed to negative results and confusion. Not only because we have reproduced detailed positive results numerous times, and we and many others have built extensively on basic findings, but also because we explain and combine many previously puzzling results into a coherent and highly plausible paradigm on how alcohol exerts an important part of its action in the brain, we are confident about our findings and conclusions. However, many important open questions remain to be answered.
    Alcohol 06/2007; 41(3):201-9. DOI:10.1016/j.alcohol.2007.04.006 · 2.04 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Benzodiazepines are widely used for their anxiolytic, sedative, myorelaxant and anticonvulsant properties. They allosterically modulate GABA(A) receptor function by increasing the apparent affinity of the agonist GABA. We studied conformational changes induced by channel agonists at the benzodiazepine binding site. We used the rate of covalent reaction between a benzodiazepine carrying a cysteine reactive moiety with mutated receptor having a cysteine residue in the benzodiazepine binding pocket, alpha1H101Cbeta2gamma2, as a sensor of its conformation. This reaction rate is sensitive to local conformational changes. Covalent reaction locks the receptor in the conformation stabilized by positive allosteric modulators. By using concatenated subunits we demonstrated that the covalent reaction occurs either exclusively at the alpha/gamma subunit interface, or if it occurs in both alpha1 subunits, exclusively reaction at the alpha/gamma subunit interface can modulate the receptor. We found evidence for an increased rate of reaction of activated receptors, whereas reaction rate with the desensitized state is slowed down. The benzodiazepine antagonist Ro15-1788 efficiently inhibited the covalent reaction in the presence of 100 microm GABA but only partially in its absence or in the presence of 10 microm GABA. It is concluded that Ro15-1788 efficiently protects activated and desensitized states, but not the resting state.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 03/2005; 92(4):859-66. DOI:10.1111/j.1471-4159.2004.02913.x · 4.24 Impact Factor

Preview

Download
1 Download
Available from