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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Jan 13;101(2):440-5. Epub 2004 Jan 2.

The second extracellular loop of the dopamine D2 receptor lines the binding-site crevice.

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  • 1Center for Molecular Recognition, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 630 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.


The binding site of the dopamine D(2) receptor (D2R), like those of homologous rhodopsin-like G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that bind small molecules, is contained within a water-accessible crevice formed among its seven transmembrane segments (TMs). The high-resolution structure of bovine rhodopsin, however, revealed that the second extracellular loop (E2), which connects TM4 and TM5, folds down into the transmembrane domain and forms part of the ligand-binding surface for retinal. Whether E2 plays a related role in other rhodopsin-like GPCRs is unclear. To address this issue, we have now mutated to cysteine, one at a time, 10 consecutive residues in E2 of D2R. The reaction of five of these mutants with sulfhydryl reagents inhibited antagonist binding, and bound antagonist protected two, I184C and N186C, from reaction. The pattern of accessibility in E2 is consistent with a structure similar to that of bovine rhodopsin, in which the region C-terminal to the conserved disulfide bond is deeper in the binding-site crevice than is the N-terminal part of E2. Thus, E2 likely contributes to the binding site in the D2R and probably in other aminergic GPCRs as well. Knowledge of its detailed positioning and interactions with ligand would benefit GPCR molecular modeling and facilitate the design of novel drugs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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