Co-expression of the 5-HT3B serotonin receptor subunit alters the biophysics of the 5-HT3 receptor.
ABSTRACT: Homomeric complexes of 5-HT(3A) receptor subunits form a ligand-gated ion channel. This assembly does not fully reproduce the biophysical and pharmacological properties of native 5-HT(3) receptors which might contain the recently cloned 5-HT(3B) receptor subunit. In the present study, heteromeric assemblies containing human 5-HT(3A) and 5-HT(3B) subunits were expressed in HEK 293 cells to detail the functional diversity of 5-HT(3) receptors. We designed patch-clamp experiments with homomeric (5-HT(3A)) and heteromeric (5-HT(3AB)) receptors to emphasize the kinetics of channel activation and desensitization. Co-expression of the 5-HT(3B) receptor subunit reduced the sensitivity for 5-HT (5-HT(3A) receptor: EC(50) 3 micro M, Hill coefficient 1.8; 5-HT(3AB) receptor: EC(50) 25 micro M, Hill coefficient 0.9) and markedly altered receptor desensitization. Kinetic modeling suggested that homomeric receptors, but not heteromeric receptors, desensitize via an agonist-induced open-channel block. Furthermore, heteromeric 5-HT(3AB) receptor assemblies recovered much faster from desensitization than homomeric 5-HT(3A) receptor assemblies. Unexpectedly, the specific 5-HT(3) receptor agonist mCPBG induced an open-channel block at both homomeric and heteromeric receptors. Because receptor desensitization and resensitization massively affect amplitude, duration, and frequency of synaptic signaling, these findings are evidence in favor of a pivotal role of subunit composition of 5-HT(3) receptors in serotonergic transmission.
Project description:The lifetimes of activated postsynaptic receptor channels contribute to the efficiency of synaptic transmission. Here we show that structural differences within the interface dividing extracellular and transmembrane domains of homomeric alpha7 and 5-HT(3A) receptors account for the large differences in open-channel lifetime and time of desensitization onset between these contrasting members of the Cys-loop receptor superfamily. For alpha7 receptors, agonist-evoked single-channel currents appear mainly as isolated brief openings (tau(o) = 0.35 ms), whereas macroscopic currents after a step pulse of agonist desensitize rapidly (tau(d) = 0.4 ms). In contrast for 5-HT(3A) receptors, agonist-evoked single-channel currents appear as clusters of many long openings in quick succession (tau(cluster) = 1.2 s), whereas macroscopic currents desensitize slowly (tau(d) = 1.1 s). A chimeric alpha7-5HT(3A) receptor exhibits functional properties intermediate between those of the parent receptors, but the functional signatures of each parent are reconstituted after substituting the major loops within the interface of the extracellular and transmembrane domains from the corresponding parent receptor. Furthermore, these structural loops contribute to open-channel lifetime and time of desensitization onset in a nonadditive manner. The results suggest that desensitization is the major determinant of the lifetimes of activated alpha7 and 5-HT(3A) receptors and that functional differences between the two receptors arise primarily through structural differences at the interface between extracellular and transmembrane domains.
Project description:Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 receptors (5-HT(3)Rs) are members of the superfamily of neurotransmitter-gated ion channels. Both contain five subunits which assemble to form either homomeric or heteromeric subunit complexes. With the aim of identifying the influence of subunit domains upon receptor assembly and function, a series of chimaeras have been constructed containing regions of the neuronal nAChR alpha 7 subunit and the 5-HT(3) receptor (3A) subunit.A series of subunit chimaeras containing alpha 7 and 5-HT(3A) subunit domains have been constructed and expressed in cultured mammalian cells. Properties of the expressed receptors have been examined by means of radioligand binding, agonist-induced changes in intracellular calcium and patch-clamp electrophysiology.Subunit domains which influence properties such as rectification, desensitization and conductance have been identified. In addition, the influence of subunit domains upon subunit folding, receptor assembly and cell-surface expression has been identified. Co-expression studies with the nAChR-associated protein RIC-3 revealed that, in contrast to the potentiating effect of RIC-3 on alpha 7 nAChRs, RIC-3 caused reduced levels of cell-surface expression of some alpha 7/5-HT(3A) chimaeras.Evidence has been obtained which demonstrates that subunit transmembrane domains are critical for efficient subunit folding and assembly. In addition, functional characterization of subunit chimaeras revealed that both extracellular and cytoplasmic domains exert a dramatic and significant influence upon single-channel conductance. These data support a role for regions other than hydrophobic transmembrane domains in determining ion channel properties.
Project description:The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the intracellular domain of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits upon receptor assembly, targeting and functional properties.Because most nAChR subunits form functional receptors only as heteromeric complexes, it can be difficult to examine the influence of individual subunits or subunit domains in isolation. A series of subunit chimaeras was constructed which contain the intracellular loop region (located between the M3 and M4 transmembrane domains) from nAChR subunits alpha1-alpha10 or beta1-beta4. All of these chimaeras contain common extracellular and transmembrane domains (from the nAChR alpha7 subunit and the 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 5-HT(3A) subunit, respectively), thereby facilitating both homomeric receptor assembly and detection with radiolabelled or fluorescent alpha-bungarotoxin.The nAChR M3-M4 intracellular loop domain had no significant effect upon levels of total subunit protein detected in transfected cells but had a significant influence upon levels of both cell surface and intracellular assembled receptors. Comparisons of functional properties revealed a significant influence of the intracellular loop domain upon both single-channel conductance and receptor desensitization. In addition, studies conducted in polarized epithelial cells demonstrate that the nAChR loop can influence receptor targeting, resulting in either polarized (apical) or non-polarized distribution.Evidence has been obtained which demonstrates that the large intracellular loop domain of nAChR subunits can exert a profound influence upon receptor assembly, targeting and ion channel properties.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Antimalarial compounds have been previously shown to inhibit rodent nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) and 5-HT(3) receptors. Here, we extend these studies to include human 5-HT(3A), 5-HT(3AB), GABA(A) alpha1beta2, GABA(A) alpha1beta2gamma2 and GABA(C) rho1 receptors. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:We examined the effects of quinine, chloroquine and mefloquine on the electrophysiological properties of receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. KEY RESULTS:5-HT(3A) receptor responses were inhibited by mefloquine, quinine and chloroquine with IC(50) values of 0.66, 1.06 and 24.3 microM. At 5-HT(3AB) receptors, the potencies of mefloquine (IC(50)=2.7 microM) and quinine (15.8 microM), but not chloroquine (23.6 microM), were reduced. Mefloquine, quinine and chloroquine had higher IC(50) values at GABA(A) alpha1beta2 (98.7, 0.40 and 0.46 mM, respectively) and GABA(A) alpha1beta2gamma2 receptors (0.38, 1.69 and 0.67 mM, respectively). No effect was observed at GABA(C) rho1 receptors. At all 5-HT(3) and GABA(A) receptors, chloroquine displayed competitive behaviour and mefloquine was non-competitive. Quinine was competitive at 5-HT(3A) and GABA(A) receptors, but non-competitive at 5-HT(3AB) receptors. Homology modelling in combination with automated docking suggested orientations of quinine and chloroquine at the GABA(A) receptor binding site. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:The effects of mefloquine, quinine and chloroquine are distinct at GABA(A) and GABA(C) receptors, whereas their effects on 5-HT(3AB) receptors are broadly similar to those at 5-HT(3A) receptors. IC(50) values for chloroquine and mefloquine at 5-HT(3) receptors are close to therapeutic blood concentrations required for malarial treatment, suggesting that their therapeutic use could be extended to include the treatment of 5-HT(3) receptor-related disorders.
Project description:Type A ?-aminobutyric acid receptors (GABAARs) are the principal mediators of inhibitory neurotransmission in the human brain. Endogenous neurosteroids interact with GABAARs to regulate acute and chronic anxiety and are potent sedative, analgesic, anticonvulsant and anesthetic agents. Their mode of binding and mechanism of receptor potentiation, however, remain unknown. Here we report crystal structures of a chimeric GABAAR construct in apo and pregnanolone-bound states. The neurosteroid-binding site is mechanically coupled to the helices lining the ion channel pore and modulates the desensitization-gate conformation. We demonstrate that the equivalent site is responsible for physiological, heteromeric GABAAR potentiation and explain the contrasting modulatory properties of 3a versus 3b neurosteroid epimers. These results illustrate how peripheral lipid ligands can regulate the desensitization gate of GABAARs, a process of broad relevance to pentameric ligand-gated ion channels.
Project description:Glycine receptors are chloride-permeable, ligand-gated ion channels and contribute to the inhibition of neuronal firing in the central nervous system or to facilitation of neurotransmitter release if expressed at presynaptic sites. Recent structure-function studies have provided detailed insights into the mechanisms of channel gating, desensitization, and ion permeation. However, most of the work has focused only on comparing a few isoforms, and among studies, different cellular expression systems were used. Here, we performed a series of experiments using recombinantly expressed homomeric and heteromeric glycine receptor channels, including their splice variants, in the same cellular expression system to investigate and compare their electrophysiological properties. Our data show that the current-voltage relationships of homomeric channels formed by the ?2 or ?3 subunits change upon receptor desensitization from a linear to an inwardly rectifying shape, in contrast to their heteromeric counterparts. The results demonstrate that inward rectification depends on a single amino acid (Ala(254)) at the inner pore mouth of the channels and is closely linked to chloride permeation. We also show that the current-voltage relationships of glycine-evoked currents in primary hippocampal neurons are inwardly rectifying upon desensitization. Thus, the alanine residue Ala(254) determines voltage-dependent rectification upon receptor desensitization and reveals a physio-molecular signature of homomeric glycine receptor channels, which provides unprecedented opportunities for the identification of these channels at the single cell level.
Project description:The ligand binding site of Cys-loop receptors is formed by residues on the principal (+) and complementary (-) faces of adjacent subunits, but the subunits that constitute the binding pocket in many heteromeric receptors are not yet clear. To probe the subunits involved in ligand binding in heteromeric human 5-HT(3)AB receptors, we made cysteine substitutions to the + and - faces of A and B subunits, and measured their functional consequences in receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. All A subunit mutations altered or eliminated function. The same pattern of changes was seen at homomeric and heteromeric receptors containing cysteine substitutions at A(R92) (- face), A(L126)(+), A(N128)(+), A(I139)(-), A(Q151)(-) and A(T181)(+), and these receptors displayed further changes when the sulphydryl modifying reagent methanethiosulfonate-ethylammonium (MTSEA) was applied. Modifications of A(R92C)(-)- and A(T181C)(+)-containing receptors were protected by the presence of agonist (5-HT) or antagonist (d-tubocurarine). In contrast modifications of the equivalent B subunit residues did not alter heteromeric receptor function. In addition a double mutant, A(S206C)(-)(/E229C)(+), only responded to 5-HT following DTT treatment in both homomeric and heteromeric receptors, indicating receptor function was inhibited by a disulphide bond between an A+ and an A- interface in both receptor types. Our results are consistent with binding to an A+A- interface at both homomeric and heteromeric human 5-HT(3) receptors, and explain why the competitive pharmacologies of these two receptors are identical.
Project description:Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), sensory molecules that continuously monitor the concentration of extracellular protons and initiate diverse intracellular responses through an influx of cations, are assembled from six subtypes that can differentially combine to form various trimeric channel complexes and elicit unique electrophysiological responses. For instance, homomeric ASIC1a channels have been shown to exhibit prolonged desensitization, and acid-evoked currents become smaller when the channels are repeatedly activated by extracellular protons, whereas homomeric or heteromeric ASIC2a channels continue to respond to repetitive acidic stimuli without exhibiting such desensitization. Although previous studies have provided evidence that both the desensitization of ASIC1a and rapid resensitization of ASIC2a commonly require domains that include the N terminus and the first transmembrane region of these channels, the biophysical basis of channel gating at the amino acid level has not been clearly determined. Here, we confirm that domain-swapping mutations replacing the N terminus of ASIC2a with that of ASIC2b result in de novo prolonged desensitization in homomeric channels following activation by extracellular protons. Such desensitization of chimeric ASIC2a mutants is due neither to internalization nor to degradation of the channel proteins. We use site-directed mutagenesis to narrow down the relevant portion of the N terminus of ASIC2a, identifying three amino acid residues within the N terminus (T25, T39, and I40) whose mutation is sufficient to phenocopy the desensitization exhibited by the chimeric mutants. A similar desensitization is observed in heteromeric ASICs containing the mutant subunit. These results suggest that T25, T39, and I40 of ASIC2a are key residues determining the rapid resensitization of homomeric and heteromeric ASIC2a channels upon proton activation.
Project description:5-HT3 receptors are composed of 5-HT3A subunits (homomeric receptors), or combinations of 5-HT3A and other 5-HT3 receptor subunits (heteromeric receptors, the best studied of which are 5-HT3AB receptors). Here we explore the effects of partial agonists at 5-HT3A and 5-HT3AB receptors, and the importance of a channel-lining residue in determining the efficacy of activation.Wild type and mutant 5-HT3A and 5-HT3AB receptors were expressed in Xenopus oocytes and examined using two-electrode voltage-clamp, or expressed in HEK293 cells and examined using [(3)H]granisetron binding.Dopamine, quipazine and VUF10166 were partial agonists at wild type 5-HT3A and 5-HT3AB receptors, with quipazine and VUF10166 causing a long-lived (>20 min) inhibition of subsequent agonist responses. At 5-HT3A receptors, mCPBG was a partial agonist, but was a superagonist at 5-HT3AB receptors, as it produced a response 2.6× greater than that of 5-HT. A T6'S substitution in the 5-HT3A subunit decreased EC50 and increased Rmax of dopamine and quipazine at both homomeric and heteromeric receptors. The greatest changes were seen with VUF10166 at 5-HT3AT6'SB receptors, where it became a full agonist (EC50 = 7 nM) with an EC50 58-fold less than 5-HT (EC50 = 0.4 ?M) and no longer caused inhibition of subsequent agonist responses.These results indicate that a mutation in the pore lining domain in both 5-HT3A and 5-HT3AB receptors alters the relative efficacy of a series of agonists, changing some (e.g. quipazine) from apparent antagonists to potent and efficacious agonists.
Project description:The heteromeric Kir4.1-Kir5.1 channel is a candidate sensing molecule for central CO(2) chemoreception. Since central CO(2) chemoreception is subject to neural modulations, we performed studies to test the hypothesis that the Kir4.1-Kir5.1 channel is modulated by the neurotransmitters critical for respiratory control, including serotonin (5-HT), substance-P (SP), and thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH). The heteromeric Kir4.1-Kir5.1 channel was strongly inhibited by SP, TRH, and 5-HT when expressed in Xenopus oocytes, whereas these neurotransmitters had no effect on the homomeric Kir4.1 channel. Such an inhibition was dose-dependent and relied on specific G(alphaq)-protein-coupled receptors and protein kinase C (PKC). No direct interaction of the channel with G-proteins was found. Channel sensitivity to CO(2)/pH was not compromised with the inhibition by these neurotransmitters, as the channel remained to be inhibited by acidic pH following an exposure to the neurotransmitters. The firing rate of CO(2)-sensitive brainstem neurons cultured in microelectrode arrays was augmented by SP or a 5-HT2A receptor agonist, which was blocked by PKC inhibitors suggesting that PKC underscores the inhibitory effect of SP and 5-HT in cultured brainstem neurons as well. Immunostaining showed that both Kir4.1 and Kir5.1 proteins were co-localized in the cultured brainstem neurons. These results therefore indicate that the heteromeric Kir4.1-Kir5.1 channel is modulated by the neurotransmitters critical for respiratory control, suggesting a novel neuromodulatory mechanism for the chemosensitivity of brainstem neurons to elevated PCO(2) and acidic pH.