National Center for
2BR8: Crystal Structure Of Acetylcholine-Binding Protein (Achbp) From Aplysia Californica In Complex With An Alpha- Conotoxin Pnia Variant
Crystal structure of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor homolog AChBP in complex with an alpha-conotoxin PnIA variant
Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. (2005) 12 p.582-588
Conotoxins (Ctx) form a large family of peptide toxins from cone snail venoms that act on a broad spectrum of ion channels and receptors. The subgroup alpha-Ctx specifically and selectively binds to subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which are targets for treatment of several neurological disorders. Here we present the structure at a resolution of 2.4 A of alpha-Ctx PnIA (A10L D14K), a potent blocker of the alpha(7)-nAChR, bound with high affinity to acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP), the prototype for the ligand-binding domains of the nAChR superfamily. Alpha-Ctx is buried deep within the ligand-binding site and interacts with residues on both faces of adjacent subunits. The toxin itself does not change conformation, but displaces the C loop of AChBP and induces a rigid-body subunit movement. Knowledge of these contacts could facilitate the rational design of drug leads using the Ctx framework and may lead to compounds with increased receptor subtype selectivity.