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ABSTRACT: The octapeptide hormone angiotensin II (AngII) exerts a wide variety of cardiovascular effects through the activation of the AT(1) receptor, which belongs to the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily. Like other G protein-coupled receptors, the AT(1) receptor possesses seven transmembrane domains that provide structural support for the formation of the ligand-binding pocket. Here, we investigated the role of the first and fourth transmembrane domains (TMDs) in the formation of the binding pocket of the human AT(1) receptor using the substituted-cysteine accessibility method. Each residue within the Phe-28((1.32))-Ile-53((1.57)) fragment of TMD1 and Leu-143((4.40))-Phe-170((4.67)) fragment of TMD4 was mutated, one at a time, to a cysteine. The resulting mutant receptors were expressed in COS-7 cells, which were subsequently treated with the charged sulfhydryl-specific alkylating agent methanethiosulfonate ethylammonium (MTSEA). This treatment led to a significant reduction in the binding affinity of TMD1 mutants M30C((1.34))-AT(1) and T33C((1.37))-AT(1) and TMD4 mutant V169C((4.66))-AT(1). Although this reduction in binding of the TMD1 mutants was maintained when examined in a constitutively active receptor (N111G-AT(1)) background, we found that V169C((4.66))-AT(1) remained unaffected when treated with MTSEA compared with untreated in this context. Moreover, the complete loss of binding observed for R167C((4.64))-AT(1) was restored upon treatment with MTSEA. Our results suggest that the extracellular portion of TMD1, particularly residues Met-30((1.34)) and Thr-33((1.37)), as well as residues Arg-167((4.64)) and Val-169((4.66)) at the junction of TMD4 and the second extracellular loop, are important binding determinants within the AT(1) receptor binding pocket but that these TMDs undergo very little movement, if at all, during the activation process.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2009; 285(4):2284-93. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M109.077180 · 4.57 Impact Factor