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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Mar 27;98(7):3744-9. Epub 2001 Mar 13.

Crystal structure of the ectodomain of Methuselah, a Drosophila G protein-coupled receptor associated with extended lifespan.

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  • 1Division of Biology 156-29, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


The Drosophila mutant methuselah (mth) was identified from a screen for single gene mutations that extended average lifespan. Mth mutants have a 35% increase in average lifespan and increased resistance to several forms of stress, including heat, starvation, and oxidative damage. The protein affected by this mutation is related to G protein-coupled receptors of the secretin receptor family. Mth, like secretin receptor family members, has a large N-terminal ectodomain, which may constitute the ligand binding site. Here we report the 2.3-A resolution crystal structure of the Mth extracellular region, revealing a folding topology in which three primarily beta-structure-containing domains meet to form a shallow interdomain groove containing a solvent-exposed tryptophan that may represent a ligand binding site. The Mth structure is analyzed in relation to predicted Mth homologs and potential ligand binding features.

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