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J Biol Chem. 2004 Aug 20;279(34):35526-34. Epub 2004 Jun 15.

Negative cooperativity of glutamate binding in the dimeric metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 1.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Biomolecular Engineering Research Institute, 6-2-3 Furuedai, Suita, Osaka 565-0874, Japan.

Abstract

Metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) subtype 1 is a Class III G-protein-coupled receptor that is mainly expressed on the post-synaptic membrane of neuronal cells. The receptor has a large N-terminal extracellular ligand binding domain that forms a homodimer, however, the intersubunit communication of ligand binding in the dimer remains unknown. Here, using the intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence change as a probe for ligand binding events, we examined whether allosteric properties exist in the dimeric ligand binding domain of the receptor. The indole ring of the tryptophan 110, which resides on the upper surface of the ligand binding pocket, sensed the ligand binding events. From saturation binding curves, we have determined the apparent dissociation constants (K(0.5)) of representative agonists and antagonists for this receptor (3.8, 0.46, 40, and 0.89 microm for glutamate, quisqualate, (S)-alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine ((S)-MCPG), and (+)-2-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (LY367385), respectively). Calcium ions functioned as a positive modulator for agonist but not for antagonist binding (K(0.5) values were 1.3, 0.21, 59, and 1.2 microm for glutamate, quisqualate, (S)-MCPG, and LY367385, respectively, in the presence of 2.0 mm calcium ion). Moreover, a Hill analysis of the saturation binding curves revealed the strong negative cooperativity of glutamate binding between each subunit in the dimeric ligand binding domain. As far as we know, this is the first direct evidence that the dimeric ligand binding domain of mGluR exhibits intersubunit cooperativity of ligand binding.

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