Hydrophobic photolabeling studies identify the lipid-protein interface of the 5-HT3A receptor.
ABSTRACT: A HEK-293 cell line that stably expresses mouse 5-HT(3A)Rs containing a C-terminal extension that confers high-affinity binding of alpha-bungarotoxin (alphaBgTx) was established (alphaBgTx-5-HT(3A)Rs) and used to purify alphaBgTx-5-HT(3A)Rs in a lipid environment for use in structural studies using photoaffinity labeling. alphaBgTx-5-HT(3A)Rs were expressed robustly (60 pmol of [(3)H]BRL-43694 binding sites (approximately 3 microg of receptor) per milligram of protein) and displayed the same functional properties as wild-type receptors (serotonin EC(50) = 5.3 +/- 0.04 microM). While [(125)I]alphaBgTx bound to the alphaBgTx-5-HT(3A)Rs with high affinity (K(d) = 11 nM), application of nonradioactive alphaBgTx (up to 300 microM) had no effect on serotonin-induced current responses. alphaBgTx-5-HT(3A)Rs were purified on an alphaBgTx-derivatized affinity column from detergent extracts in milligram quantities and at approximately 25% purity. The hydrophobic photolabel 3-trifluoromethyl-3-(m-[(125)I]iodophenyl)diazirine ([(125)I]TID) was used to identify the amino acids at the lipid-protein interface of purified and lipid-reconstituted alphaBgTx-5-HT(3A)Rs. [(125)I]TID photoincorporation into the alphaBgTx-5-HT(3A)R subunit was initially mapped to subunit proteolytic fragments of 8 kDa, containing the M4 transmembrane segment and approximately 60% of incorporated (125)I, and 17 kDa, containing the M1-M3 transmembrane segments. Within the M4 segment, [(125)I]TID labeled Ser(451), equivalent to the [(125)I]TID-labeled residue Thr(422) at the lipid-exposed face of the Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) alpha1M4 alpha-helix. These results provide a first definition of the surface of the 5-HT(3A)R M4 helix that is exposed to lipid and establish that this surface is equivalent to the surface exposed to lipid in the Torpedo nAChR.
Project description:Using an acetylcholine-derivatized affinity column, we have purified human alpha4beta2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) from a stably transfected HEK-293 cell line. Both the quantity and the quality of the purified receptor are suitable for applying biochemical methods to directly study the structure of the alpha4beta2 nAChR. In this first study, the lipid-protein interface of purified and lipid-reconstituted alpha4beta2 nAChRs was directly examined using photoaffinity labeling with the hydrophobic probe 3-(trifluoromethyl)-3-(m-[125I]iodophenyl)diazirine ([125I]TID). [125I]TID photoincorporated into both alpha4 and beta2 subunits, and for each subunit the labeling was initially mapped to fragments containing the M4 and M1-M3 transmembrane segments. For both the alpha4 and beta2 subunits, approximately 60% of the total labeling was localized within fragments that contain the M4 segment, which suggests that the M4 segment has the greatest exposure to lipid. Within M4 segments, [125I]TID labeled homologous amino acids alpha4-Cys582/beta2-Cys445, which are also homologous to the [125I]TID-labeled residues alpha1-Cys418 and beta1-Cys447 in the lipid-exposed face of Torpedo nAChR alpha1M4 and beta1M4, respectively. Within the alpha4M1 segment, [125I]TID labeled residues Cys226 and Cys231, which correspond to the [125I]TID-labeled residues Cys222 and Phe227 at the lipid-exposed face of the Torpedo alpha1M1 segment. In beta2M1, [125I]TID labeled beta2-Cys220, which is homologous to alpha4-Cys226. We conclude from these studies that the alpha4beta2 nAChR can be purified from stably transfected HEK-293 cells in sufficient quantity and purity for structural studies and that the lipid-protein interfaces of the neuronal alpha4beta2 nAChR and the Torpedo nAChR display a high degree of structural homology.
Project description:The Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is the only member of the Cys-loop superfamily of ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs) that is available in high abundance in a native membrane preparation. To study the structure of the other LGICs using biochemical and biophysical techniques, detergent solubilization, purification, and lipid reconstitution are usually required. To assess the effects of purification on receptor structure, we used the hydrophobic photoreactive probe 3-trifluoromethyl-3-(m-[(125)I]iodophenyl)diazirine ([(125)I]TID) to compare the state-dependent photolabeling of the Torpedo nAChR before and after purification and reincorporation into lipid. For the purified nAChR, the agonist-sensitive photolabeling within the M2 ion channel domain of positions M2-6, M2-9, and M2-13, the agonist-enhanced labeling of deltaThr274 (deltaM2-18) within the delta subunit helix bundle, and the labeling at the lipid-protein interface (alphaMu4) were the same as for the nAChR in native membranes. However, addition of agonist did not enhance [(125)I]TID photolabeling of deltaIle288 within the deltaM2-M3 loop. These results indicate that after purification and reconstitution of the Torpedo nAChR, the difference in structure between the resting and desensitized states within the M2 ion channel domain was preserved, but not the agonist-dependent change of structure of the deltaM2-M3 loop. To further characterize the pharmacology of [(125)I]TID binding sites in the nAChR in the desensitized state, we examined the effect of phencyclidine (PCP) on [(125)I]TID photolabeling. PCP inhibited [(125)I]TID labeling of amino acids at the cytoplasmic end of the ion channel (M2-2 and M2-6) while potentiating labeling at M2-9 and M2-13 and allosterically modulating the labeling of amino acids within the delta subunit helix bundle.
Project description:The photoactivatable sterol probe [3alpha-(3)H]6-Azi-5alpha-cholestan-3beta-ol ([3H]Azicholesterol) was used to identify domains in the Torpedo californica nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) that interact with cholesterol. [3H]Azicholesterol partitioned into nAChR-enriched membranes very efficiently (>98%), photoincorporated into nAChR subunits on an equal molar basis, and neither the pattern nor the extent of labeling was affected by the presence of the agonist carbamylcholine, consistent with photoincorporation at the nAChR lipid-protein interface. Sites of [3H]Azicholesterol incorporation in each nAChR subunit were initially mapped by Staphylococcus aureus V8 protease digestion to two relatively large homologous fragments that contain either the transmembrane segments M1-M2-M3 (e.g., alphaV8-20) or M4 (e.g., alphaV8-10). The distribution of [3H]Azicholesterol labeling between these two fragments (e.g., alphaV8-20, 29%; alphaV8-10, 71%), suggests that the M4 segment has the greatest interaction with membrane cholesterol. Photolabeled amino acid residues in each M4 segment were identified by Edman degradation of isolated tryptic fragments and generally correspond to acidic residues located at either end of each transmembrane helix (e.g., alphaAsp-407). [3H]Azicholesterol labeling was also mapped to peptides that contain either the M3 or M1 segment of each nAChR subunit. These results establish that cholesterol likely interacts with the M4, M3, and M1 segments of each subunit, and therefore, the cholesterol binding domain fully overlaps the lipid-protein interface of the nAChR.
Project description:Although the Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) reconstituted into phosphatidylcholine (PC) membranes lacking cholesterol and anionic lipids adopts a conformation where agonist binding is uncoupled from channel gating, the underlying mechanism remains to be defined. Here, we examine the mechanism behind lipid-dependent uncoupling by comparing the propensities of two prokaryotic homologs, Gloebacter and Erwinia ligand-gated ion channel (GLIC and ELIC, respectively), to adopt a similar uncoupled conformation. Membrane-reconstituted GLIC and ELIC both exhibit folded structures in the minimal PC membranes that stabilize an uncoupled nAChR. GLIC, with a large number of aromatic interactions at the interface between the outermost transmembrane ?-helix, M4, and the adjacent transmembrane ?-helices, M1 and M3, retains the ability to flux cations in this uncoupling PC membrane environment. In contrast, ELIC, with a level of aromatic interactions intermediate between that of the nAChR and GLIC, does not undergo agonist-induced channel gating, although it does not exhibit the expected biophysical characteristics of the uncoupled state. Engineering new aromatic interactions at the M4-M1/M3 interface to promote effective M4 interactions with M1/M3, however, increases the stability of the transmembrane domain to restore channel function. Our data provide direct evidence that M4 interactions with M1/M3 are modulated during lipid sensing. Aromatic residues strengthen M4 interactions with M1/M3 to reduce the sensitivities of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels to their surrounding membrane environment.
Project description:The lipid requirements of the Torpedo californica nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) were assessed by reconstituting purified receptors into lipid vesicles of defined composition and by using photolabeling with 3-trifluoromethyl-3-(m-[125I]iodophenyl)diazirine ([125I]TID) to determine functionality. Earlier studies demonstrated that nAChRs reconstituted into membranes containing phosphatidylcholine (PC), the anionic lipid phosphatidic acid (PA), and cholesterol (CH) are particularly effective at stabilizing the nAChR in the resting (closed) state that is capable of undergoing agonist-induced conformational transitions (i.e., functionality). The present studies demonstrate that (1) there is no obligatory requirement for PC, (2) increasing the CH content serves to increase the degree to which nAChRs are stabilized in the resting state, and this effect saturates at approximately 35 mol % (molar lipid percentage), and (3) the effect of increasing levels of PA saturates at approximately 12 mol % and in the absence of PA nAChRs are stabilized in the desensitized state (i.e., nonfunctional). Native Torpedo membranes contain approximately 35 mol % CH but less than 1 mol % PA, suggesting that other anionic lipids may substitute for PA. We report that (1) phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylinositol (PI), anionic lipids that are abundant in native Torpedo membranes, also stabilize the receptor in the resting state although with reduced efficacy (approximately 50-60%) compared to PA, and (2) for nAChRs reconstituted into PA/CH membranes at different lipid-protein molar ratios, receptor functionality decreases rapidly below approximately 65 lipids per receptor. Collectively, these results are consistent with a functional requirement of a single shell of lipids surrounding the nAChR and specific anionic lipid- and sterol (CH)-protein interactions.
Project description:Lipids influence the ability of Cys-loop receptors to gate open in response to neurotransmitter binding, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. With the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) from Torpedo, current models suggest that lipids modulate the natural equilibrium between resting and desensitized conformations. We show that the lipid-inactivated nAChR is not desensitized, instead it adopts a novel conformation where the allosteric coupling between its neurotransmitter-binding sites and transmembrane pore is lost. The uncoupling is accompanied by an unmasking of previously buried residues, suggesting weakened association between structurally intact agonist-binding and transmembrane domains. These data combined with the extensive literature on Cys-loop receptor-lipid interactions suggest that the M4 transmembrane helix plays a key role as a lipid-sensor, translating bilayer properties into altered nAChR function.
Project description:The lipid-protein interface is an important domain of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) that has recently garnered increased relevance. Several studies have made significant advances toward determining the structure and dynamics of the lipid-exposed domains of the nAChR. However, there is still a need to gain insight into the mechanism by which lipid-protein interactions regulate the function and conformational transitions of the nAChR. In this study, we extended the tryptophan scanning mutagenesis (TrpScanM) approach to dissect secondary structure and monitor the conformational changes experienced by the ?M4 transmembrane domain (TMD) of the Torpedo californica nAChR, and to identify which positions on this domain are potentially linked to the regulation of ion channel kinetics. The difference in oscillation patterns between the closed- and open-channel states suggests a substantial conformational change along this domain as a consequence of channel activation. Furthermore, TrpScanM revealed distortions along the helical structure of this TMD that are not present on current models of the nAChR. Our results show that a Thr-Pro motif at positions 462-463 markedly bends the helical structure of the TMD, consistent with the recent crystallographic structure of the GluCl Cys-loop receptor which reveals a highly bent TMD4 in each subunit. This Thr-Pro motif acts as a molecular hinge that delineates two gating blocks in the ?M4 TMD. These results suggest a model in which a hinge-bending motion that tilts the helical structure is combined with a spring-like motion during transition between the closed- and open-channel states of the ?M4 TMD.
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:The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is a member of the important Cys loop ligand-gated ion channel superfamily that modulates neuronal excitability. After they respond to their agonists, their actions are terminated either by removal of ligand or by fast and slow desensitization, processes that play an important role in modulating the duration of conducting states and hence of integrated neuronal behavior. We monitored structural changes occurring during fast and slow desensitization in the transmembrane domain of the Torpedo nAChR using time-resolved photolabeling with the hydrophobic probe 3-(trifluoromethyl)-3-(m-iodophenyl)diazirine (TID). After channel opening, TID photolabels a residue on the delta-subunit's M2-M3 loop and a cluster of four residues on deltaM1 and deltaM2, defining an open state pocket [Arevalo, E., et al. (2005) J. Biol. Chem. 280, 13631-13640]. We now find that photolabeling of this pocket persists during the transition to the fast desensitized state, the extent of photoincorporation decreasing only with the transition to the slow desensitized state. In contrast, the extent of photoincorporation in the channel lumen at the conserved 9'-leucines on the second transmembrane helix (M2-9') decreased successively during the resting to open and open to fast desensitized state transitions, implying that the local conformation is different in each state, a conclusion consistent with the hypothesis that there are separate gates for channel opening and desensitization. Thus, although during fast desensitization there is a conformation change in the channel lumen at the level of M2-9', there is none in the regions of the delta-subunit's M2-M3 loop and the interior of its M1-M4 helix bundle until slow desensitization occurs.
Project description:Many neuroactive steroids potently and allosterically modulate pentameric ligand-gated ion channels, including GABAA receptors (GABAAR) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Allopregnanolone and its synthetic analog alphaxalone are GABAAR-positive allosteric modulators (PAMs), whereas alphaxalone and most neuroactive steroids are nAChR inhibitors. In this report, we used 11?-(p-azidotetrafluorobenzoyloxy)allopregnanolone (F4N3Bzoxy-AP), a general anesthetic and photoreactive allopregnanolone analog that is a potent GABAAR PAM, to characterize steroid-binding sites in the Torpedo ?2??? nAChR in its native membrane environment. We found that F4N3Bzoxy-AP (IC50 = 31 ?m) is 7-fold more potent than alphaxalone in inhibiting binding of the channel blocker [3H]tenocyclidine to nAChRs in the desensitized state. At 300 ?m, neither steroid inhibited binding of [3H]tetracaine, a closed-state selective channel blocker, or of [3H]acetylcholine. Photolabeling identified three distinct [3H]F4N3Bzoxy-AP-binding sites in the nAChR transmembrane domain: 1) in the ion channel, identified by photolabeling in the M2 helices of ?Val-261 and ?Val-269 (position M2-13'); 2) at the interface between the ?M1 and ?M4 helices, identified by photolabeling in ?M1 (?Cys-222/?Leu-223); and 3) at the lipid-protein interface involving ?Trp-453 (M4), a residue photolabeled by small lipophilic probes and promegestone, a steroid nAChR antagonist. Photolabeling in the ion channel and ?M1 was higher in the nAChR-desensitized state than in the resting state and inhibitable by promegestone. These results directly indicate a steroid-binding site in the nAChR ion channel and identify additional steroid-binding sites also occupied by other lipophilic nAChR antagonists.