Galanthamine and non-competitive inhibitor binding to ACh-binding protein: evidence for a binding site on non-alpha-subunit interfaces of heteromeric neuronal nicotinic receptors.
ABSTRACT: Rapid neurotransmission is mediated through a superfamily of Cys-loop receptors that includes the nicotinic acetylcholine (nAChR), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA(A)), serotonin (5-HT(3)) and glycine receptors. A class of ligands, including galanthamine, local anesthetics and certain toxins, interact with nAChRs non-competitively. Suggested modes of action include blockade of the ion channel, modulation from undefined extracellular sites, stabilization of desensitized states, and association with annular or boundary lipid. Alignment of mammalian Cys-loop receptors shows aromatic residues, found in the acetylcholine or ligand-binding pocket of nAChRs, are conserved in all subunit interfaces of neuronal nAChRs, including those that are not formed by alpha subunits on the principal side of the transmitter binding site. The amino-terminal domain containing the ligand recognition site is homologous to the soluble acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) from mollusks, an established structural and functional surrogate. We assess ligand specificity and employ X-ray crystallography with AChBP to demonstrate ligand interactions at subunit interfaces lacking vicinal cysteines (i.e. the non-alpha subunit interfaces in nAChRs). Non-competitive nicotinic ligands bind AChBP with high affinity (K(d) 0.015-6 microM). We mutated the vicinal cysteine residues in loop C of AChBP to mimic the non-alpha subunit interfaces of neuronal nAChRs and other Cys loop receptors. Classical nicotinic agonists show a 10-40-fold reduction in binding affinity, whereas binding of ligands known to be non-competitive are not affected. X-ray structures of cocaine and galanthamine bound to AChBP (1.8 A and 2.9 A resolution, respectively) reveal interactions deep within the subunit interface and the absence of a contact surface with the tip of loop C. Hence, in addition to channel blocking, non-competitive interactions with heteromeric neuronal nAChR appear to occur at the non-alpha subunit interface, a site presumed to be similar to that of modulating benzodiazepines on GABA(A) receptors.
Project description:Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which are responsible for mediating key physiological functions, are ubiquitous in the central and peripheral nervous systems. As members of the Cys loop ligand-gated ion channel family, neuronal nAChRs are pentameric, composed of various permutations of ? (?2 to ?10) and ? (?2 to ?4) subunits forming functional heteromeric or homomeric receptors. Diversity in nAChR subunit composition complicates the development of selective ligands for specific subtypes, since the five binding sites reside at the subunit interfaces. The acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP), a soluble extracellular domain homologue secreted by mollusks, serves as a general structural surrogate for the nAChRs. In this work, homomeric AChBPs from Lymnaea and Aplysia snails were used as in situ templates for the generation of novel and potent ligands that selectively bind to these proteins. The cycloaddition reaction between building-block azides and alkynes to form stable 1,2,3-triazoles was used to generate the leads. The extent of triazole formation on the AChBP template correlated with the affinity of the triazole product for the nicotinic ligand binding site. Instead of the in situ protein-templated azide-alkyne cycloaddition reaction occurring at a localized, sequestered enzyme active center as previously shown, we demonstrate that the in situ reaction can take place at the subunit interfaces of an oligomeric protein and can thus be used as a tool for identifying novel candidate nAChR ligands. The crystal structure of one of the in situ-formed triazole-AChBP complexes shows binding poses and molecular determinants of interactions predicted from structures of known agonists and antagonists. Hence, the click chemistry approach with an in situ template of a receptor provides a novel synthetic avenue for generating candidate agonists and antagonists for ligand-gated ion channels.
Project description:Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are pentameric ligand-gated ion channels that belong to the Cys-loop receptor superfamily. These receptors are allosteric proteins that exist in different conformational states, including resting (closed), activated (open), and desensitized (closed) states. The acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) is a structural homologue of the extracellular ligand-binding domain of nAChRs. In previous studies, the degree of the C-loop radial extension of AChBP has been assigned to different conformational states of nAChRs. It has been suggested that a closed C-loop is preferred for the active conformation of nAChRs in complex with agonists whereas an open C-loop reflects an antagonist-bound (closed) state. In this work, we have determined the crystal structure of AChBP from the water snail Lymnaea stagnalis (Ls) in complex with dihydro-?-erythroidine (DH?E), which is a potent competitive antagonist of nAChRs. The structure reveals that binding of DH?E to AChBP imposes closure of the C-loop as agonists, but also a shift perpendicular to previously observed C-loop movements. These observations suggest that DH?E may antagonize the receptor via a different mechanism compared to prototypical antagonists and toxins.
Project description:We identified a homologue of the molluscan acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) in the marine polychaete Capitella teleta, from the annelid phylum. The amino acid sequence of C. teleta AChBP (ct-AChBP) is 21-30% identical with those of known molluscan AChBPs. Sequence alignments indicate that ct-AChBP has a shortened Cys loop compared to other Cys loop receptors, and a variation on a conserved Cys loop triad, which is associated with ligand binding in other AChBPs and nicotinic ACh receptor (nAChR) alpha subunits. Within the D loop of ct-AChBP, a conserved aromatic residue (Tyr or Trp) in nAChRs and molluscan AChBPs, which has been implicated directly in ligand binding, is substituted with an isoleucine. Mass spectrometry results indicate that Asn122 and Asn216 of ct-AChBP are glycosylated when expressed using HEK293 cells. Small-angle X-ray scattering data suggest that the overall shape of ct-AChBP in the apo or unliganded state is similar to that of homologues with known pentameric crystal structures. NMR experiments show that acetylcholine, nicotine, and alpha-bungarotoxin bind to ct-AChBP with high affinity, with K(D) values of 28.7 microM, 209 nM, and 110 nM, respectively. Choline bound with a lower affinity (K(D) = 163 microM). Our finding of a functional AChBP in a marine annelid demonstrates that AChBPs may exhibit variations in hallmark motifs such as ligand-binding residues and Cys loop length and shows conclusively that this neurotransmitter binding protein is not limited to the phylum Mollusca.
Project description:Covalent modification of ?7 W55C nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) with the cysteine-modifying reagent [2-(trimethylammonium)ethyl] methanethiosulfonate (MTSET(+)) produces receptors that are unresponsive to acetylcholine, whereas methyl methanethiolsulfonate (MMTS) produces enhanced acetylcholine-gated currents. Here, we investigate structural changes that underlie the opposite effects of MTSET(+) and MMTS using acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP), a homolog of the extracellular domain of the nAChR. Crystal structures of Y53C AChBP show that MTSET(+)-modification stabilizes loop C in an extended conformation that resembles the antagonist-bound state, which parallels our observation that MTSET(+) produces unresponsive W55C nAChRs. The MMTS-modified mutant in complex with acetylcholine is characterized by a contracted C-loop, similar to other agonist-bound complexes. Surprisingly, we find two acetylcholine molecules bound in the ligand-binding site, which might explain the potentiating effect of MMTS modification in W55C nAChRs. Unexpectedly, we observed in the MMTS-Y53C structure that ten phosphate ions arranged in two rings at adjacent sites are bound in the vestibule of AChBP. We mutated homologous residues in the vestibule of ?1 GlyR and observed a reduction in the single channel conductance, suggesting a role of this site in ion permeation. Taken together, our results demonstrate that targeted modification of a conserved aromatic residue in loop D is sufficient for a conformational switch of AChBP and that a defined region in the vestibule of the extracellular domain contributes to ion conduction in anion-selective Cys-loop receptors.
Project description:Two types of structurally similar nicotinic agonists have very different biological and physicochemical properties. Neonicotinoids, important insecticides including imidacloprid and thiacloprid, are nonprotonated and selective for insects and their nicotinic receptors, whereas nicotinoids such as nicotine and epibatidine are cationic and selective for mammalian systems. We discovered that a mollusk acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP), as a structural surrogate for the extracellular ligand-binding domain of the nicotinic receptor, is similarly sensitive to neonicotinoids and nicotinoids. It therefore seemed possible that the proposed very different interactions of the neonicotinoids and nicotinoids might be examined with a single AChBP by using optimized azidochloropyridinyl photoaffinity probes. Two azidoneonicotinoids with a nitro or cyano group were compared with the corresponding desnitro or descyano azidonicotinoids. The four photoactivated nitrene probes modified AChBP with up to one agonist for each subunit based on analysis of the intact derivatized protein. Identical modification sites were observed by collision-induced dissociation analysis for the neonicotinoids and nicotinoids with similar labeling frequency of Tyr-195 of loop C and Met-116 of loop E at the subunit interface. The nitro- or cyano-substituted guanidine/amidine planes of the neonicotinoids provide a unique electronic conjugation system to interact with loop C Tyr-188. The neonicotinoid nitro oxygen and cyano nitrogen contact loop C Cys-190/Ser-189, whereas the cationic head of the corresponding nicotinoids is inverted for hydrogen-bonding and cation-pi contact with Trp-147 and Tyr-93. These structural models based on AChBP directly map the elusive neonicotinoid binding site and further describe the molecular determinants of agonists on nicotinic receptors.
Project description:The nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor (nAChR) plays a crucial role in excitatory neurotransmission and is an important target for drugs and insecticides. Diverse nAChR subtypes with various subunit combinations confer differential selectivity for nicotinic drugs. We investigated the subtype selectivity of nAChR agonists by comparing two ACh-binding proteins (AChBPs) as structural surrogates with distinct pharmacological profiles [i.e., Lymnaea stagnalis (Ls) AChBP of low neonicotinoid and high nicotinoid sensitivities and Aplysia californica (Ac) AChBP of high neonicotinoid sensitivity] mimicking vertebrate and insect nAChR subtypes, respectively. The structural basis of subtype selectivity was examined here by photoaffinity labeling. Two azidoneonicotinoid probes in the Ls-AChBP surprisingly modified two distinct and distant subunit interface sites: loop F Y164 of the complementary or (-)-face subunit and loop C Y192 of the principal or (+)-face subunit, whereas three azidonicotinoid probes derivatized only Y192. Both the neonicotinoid and nicotinoid probes labeled Ac-AChBP at only one position at the interface between loop C Y195 and loop E M116. These findings were used to establish structural models of the two AChBP subtypes. In the Ac-AChBP, the neonicotinoids and nicotinoids are nestled in similar bound conformations. Intriguingly, for the Ls-AChBP, the neonicotinoids have two bound conformations that are inverted relative to each other, whereas nicotinoids appear buried in only one conserved conformation as seen for the Ac-AChBP subtype. Accordingly, the subtype selectivity is based on two disparate bound conformations of nicotinic agonists, thereby establishing an atypical concept for neonicotinoid versus nicotinoid selectivity between insect and vertebrate nAChRs.
Project description:Modulation of Cys loop receptor ion channels is a proven drug discovery strategy, but many underlying mechanisms of the mode of action are poorly understood. We report the x-ray structure of the acetylcholine-binding protein from Lymnaea stagnalis with NS9283, a stoichiometry selective positive modulator that targets the ?4-?4 interface of ?4?2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Together with homology modeling, mutational data, quantum mechanical calculations, and pharmacological studies on ?4?2 nAChRs, the structure reveals a modulator binding mode that overlaps the ?4-?4 interface agonist (acetylcholine)-binding site. Analysis of contacts to residues known to govern agonist binding and function suggests that modulation occurs by an agonist-like mechanism. Selectivity for ?4-?4 over ?4-?2 interfaces is determined mainly by steric restrictions from Val-136 on the ?2-subunit and favorable interactions between NS9283 and His-142 at the complementary side of ?4. In the concentration ranges where modulation is observed, its selectivity prevents NS9283 from directly activating nAChRs because activation requires coordinated action from more than one interface. However, we demonstrate that in a mutant receptor with one natural and two engineered ?4-?4 interfaces, NS9283 is an agonist. Modulation via extracellular binding sites is well known for benzodiazepines acting at ?-aminobutyric acid type A receptors. Like NS9283, benzodiazepines increase the apparent agonist potency with a minimal effect on efficacy. The shared modulatory profile along with a binding site located in an extracellular subunit interface suggest that modulation via an agonist-like mechanism may be a common mechanism of action that potentially could apply to Cys loop receptors beyond the ?4?2 nAChRs.
Project description:The molluskan acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) is a homolog of the extracellular binding domain of the pentameric ligand-gated ion channel family. AChBP most closely resembles the alpha-subunit of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and in particular the homomeric alpha7 nicotinic receptor. We report the isolation and characterization of an alpha-conotoxin that has the highest known affinity for the Lymnaea AChBP and also potently blocks the alpha7 nAChR subtype when expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Remarkably, the peptide also has high affinity for the alpha3beta2 nAChR indicating that alpha-conotoxin OmIA in combination with the AChBP may serve as a model system for understanding the binding determinants of alpha3beta2 nAChRs. alpha-Conotoxin OmIA was purified from the venom of Conus omaria. It is a 17-amino-acid, two-disulfide bridge peptide. The ligand is the first alpha-conotoxin with higher affinity for the closely related receptor subtypes, alpha3beta2 versus alpha6beta2, and selectively blocks these two subtypes when compared with alpha2beta2, alpha4beta2, and alpha1beta1deltaepsilon nAChRs.
Project description:Lynx1, membrane-bound protein co-localized with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and regulates their function, is a three-finger protein (TFP) made of three ?-structural loops, similarly to snake venom ?-neurotoxin TFPs. Since the central loop II of ?-neurotoxins is involved in binding to nAChRs, we have recently synthesized the fragments of Lynx1 central loop, including those with the disulfide between Cys residues introduced at N- and C-termini, some of them inhibiting muscle-type nAChR similarly to the whole-size water-soluble Lynx1 (ws-Lynx1). Literature shows that the main fragment interacting with TFPs is the C-loop of both nAChRs and acetylcholine binding proteins (AChBPs) while some ligand-binding capacity is preserved by analogs of this loop, for example, by high-affinity peptide HAP. Here we analyzed the structural organization of these peptide models of ligands and receptors and its role in binding. Thus, fragments of Lynx1 loop II, loop C from the <i>Lymnaea stagnalis</i> AChBP and HAP were synthesized in linear and Cys-cyclized forms and structurally (CD and NMR) and functionally (radioligand assay on <i>Torpedo</i> nAChR) characterized. Connecting the C- and N-termini by disulfide in the ws-Lynx1 fragment stabilized its conformation which became similar to the loop II within the <sup>1</sup>H-NMR structure of ws-Lynx1, the activity being higher than for starting linear fragment but lower than for peptide with free cysteines. Introduced disulfides did not considerably change the structure of HAP and of loop C fragments, the former preserving high affinity for ?-bungarotoxin, while, surprisingly, no binding was detected with loop C and its analogs.
Project description:Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are ligand-gated ion channels that belong to the superfamily of Cys loop receptors. Valuable insight into the orthosteric ligand binding to nAChRs in recent years has been obtained from the crystal structures of acetylcholine-binding proteins (AChBPs) that share significant sequence homology with the amino-terminal domains of the nAChRs. alpha-Conotoxins, which are isolated from the venom of carnivorous marine snails, selectively inhibit the signaling of neuronal nAChR subtypes. Co-crystal structures of alpha-conotoxins in complex with AChBP show that the side chain of a highly conserved proline residue in these toxins is oriented toward the hydrophobic binding pocket in the AChBP but does not have direct interactions with this pocket. In this study, we have designed and synthesized analogues of alpha-conotoxins ImI and PnIA[A10L], by introducing a range of substituents on the Pro(6) residue in these toxins to probe the importance of this residue for their binding to the nAChRs. Pharmacological characterization of the toxin analogues at the alpha(7) nAChR shows that although polar and charged groups on Pro(6) result in analogues with significantly reduced antagonistic activities, analogues with aromatic and hydrophobic substituents in the Pro(6) position exhibit moderate activity at the receptor. Interestingly, introduction of a 5-(R)-phenyl substituent at Pro(6) in alpha-conotoxin ImI gives rise to a conotoxin analogue with a significantly higher binding affinity and antagonistic activity at the alpha(7) nAChR than those exhibited by the native conotoxin.