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Biochemistry. 2001 Apr 3;40(13):3804-9.

Intermolecular interactions between cholecystokinin-8 and the third extracellular loop of the cholecystokinin A receptor.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Division of Biology & Medicine, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.


The interaction of the C-terminal octapeptide of cholecystokinin, CCK-8, with the third extracellular loop of human cholecystokinin-A receptor, CCK(A)-R(329-357), has been probed by high-resolution NMR and extensive computer simulations. The structure of CCK(A)-R(329-357) in the presence of dodecylphosphocholine micelles consists of three alpha-helices, with the first and third corresponding to the extracellular ends of transmembrane (TM) helices 6 and 7. The central helix, residues W335-R345, is found to lie on the zwitterionic surface. Titration with CCK-8 produces a stable complex with a number of intermolecular NOEs between the C-terminus of the ligand (Trp(30), Met(31), Asp(32)) and the interface of TM6 and the third extracellular loop (N333, A334, Y338) of the receptor fragment. The mode of ligand binding based on these intermolecular NOEs is in agreement with a number of published findings from receptor mutagenesis and photoaffinity cross-linking. Utilizing these ligand/receptor points of interaction, the structural features of CCK(A)-R(329-357), and also the structures of CCK-8 and CCK(A)-R(1-47) previously determined, extensive molecular dynamics simulations of the CCK-8/CCK(A)-R complex were carried out. The results provide unique insight into the molecular interactions and forces important for the binding of CCK-8 to CCK(A)-R.

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