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J Biol Chem. 1999 May 21;274(21):14639-47.

The role of amino acids in extracellular loops of the human P2Y1 receptor in surface expression and activation processes.

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  • 1Molecular Recognition Section, Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The P2Y1 receptor is a membrane-bound G protein-coupled receptor stimulated by adenine nucleotides. Using alanine scanning mutagenesis, the role in receptor activation of charged amino acids (Asp, Glu, Lys, and Arg) and cysteines in the extracellular loops (EL) of the human P2Y1 receptor has been investigated. The mutant receptors were expressed in COS-7 cells and measured for stimulation of phospholipase C induced by the potent agonist 2-methylthioadenosine-5'-diphosphate (2-MeSADP). In addition to single point mutations, all receptors carried the hemagglutinin epitope at the N- terminus for detection of cell-surface expression. The C124A and C202A mutations, located near the exofacial end of transmembrane helix 3 and in EL2, respectively, ablated phospholipase C stimulation by </=100 microM 2-MeSADP. Surface enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay detection of both mutant receptors showed <10% expression, suggesting that a critical disulfide bridge between EL2 and the upper part of transmembrane 3, as found in many other G protein-coupled receptors, is required for proper trafficking of the P2Y1 receptor to the cell surface. In contrast, the C42A and C296A mutant receptors (located in the N-terminal domain and EL3) were activated by 2-MeSADP, but the EC50 values were >1000-fold greater than for the wild-type receptor. The double mutant receptor C42A/C296A exhibited no additive shift in the concentration-response curve for 2-MeSADP. These data suggest that Cys42 and Cys296 form another disulfide bridge in the extracellular region, which is critical for activation. Replacement of charged amino acids produced only minor changes in receptor activation, with two remarkable exceptions. The E209A mutant receptor (EL2) exhibited a >1000-fold shift in EC50. However, if Glu209 were substituted with amino acids capable of hydrogen bonding (Asp, Gln, or Arg), the mutant receptors responded like the wild-type receptor. Arg287 in EL3 was impaired similarly to Glu209 when substituted by alanine. Substitution of Arg287 by lysine, another positively charged residue, failed to fully restore wild-type activity.

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