Molecular blueprint of allosteric binding sites in a homologue of the agonist-binding domain of the alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 112, no 19, E2543-E2552 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) belongs to the family of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels and is involved in fast synaptic signaling. In this study, we take advantage of a recently identified chimera of the extracellular domain of the native alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and acetylcholine binding protein, termed alpha 7-AChBP. This chimeric receptor was used to conduct an innovative fragment-library screening in combination with X-ray crystallography to identify allosteric binding sites. One allosteric site is surface-exposed and is located near the N-terminal alpha-helix of the extracellular domain. Ligand binding at this site causes a conformational change of the alpha-helix as the fragment wedges between the alpha-helix and a loop homologous to the main immunogenic region of the muscle alpha 1 subunit. A second site is located in the vestibule of the receptor, in a preexisting intrasubunit pocket opposite the agonist binding site and corresponds to a previously identified site involved in positive allosteric modulation of the bacterial homolog ELIC. A third site is located at a pocket right below the agonist binding site. Using electrophysiological recordings on the human a7 nAChR we demonstrate that the identified fragments, which bind at these sites, can modulate receptor activation. This work presents a structural framework for different allosteric binding sites in the alpha 7 nAChR and paves the way for future development of novel allosteric modulators with therapeutic potential.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 112, no 19, E2543-E2552 p.
ligand-gated ion channel, Cys-loop receptor, X-ray crystallography, fragment screen, allosteric modulator
Other Natural Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-256525DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1418289112ISI: 000354390600020PubMedID: 25918415OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-256525DiVA: diva2:827034