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J Biol Chem. 2008 Feb 22;283(8):4665-73. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M705202200. Epub 2007 Dec 28.

Direct detection of the interaction between recombinant soluble extracellular regions in the heterodimeric metabotropic gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor.

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


The gamma-aminobutyric acid, type B (GABAB) receptor is a heterodimeric receptor consisting of two complementary subunits, GABAB1 receptor (GBR1) and GABAB2 receptor (GBR2). GBR1 is responsible for GABA binding, whereas GBR2 is considered to perform a critical role in signal transduction toward downstream targets. Therefore, precise communication between GBR1 and GBR2 is thought to be essential for the proper signal transduction process. However, biochemical data describing the interaction of the two subunits, especially for the extracellular regions, are not sufficient. Thus we began by developing a protein expression system of the soluble extracellular regions. One of the soluble recombinant GBR1 proteins exhibited a ligand binding ability, which is similar to that of the full-length GBR1, and thus the ligand-binding domain was determined. Direct interaction between GBR1 and GBR2 extracellular soluble fragments was confirmed by co-expression followed by affinity column chromatography and a sucrose density gradient sedimentation. In addition, we also found homo-oligomeric states of these soluble extracellular regions. The interaction between the two soluble extracellular regions caused the enhancement of the agonist affinity for GBR1 as previously reported in a cell-based assay. These results not only open the way to future structural studies but also highlight the role of the interaction between the extracellular regions, which controls agonist affinity to the heterodimeric receptor.

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