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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Mar 5;99(5):2660-5. Epub 2002 Feb 26.

Structural views of the ligand-binding cores of a metabotropic glutamate receptor complexed with an antagonist and both glutamate and Gd3+.

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


Crystal structures of the extracellular ligand-binding region of the metabotropic glutamate receptor, complexed with an antagonist, (S)-(alpha)-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine, and with both glutamate and Gd3+ ion, have been determined by x-ray crystallographic analyses. The structure of the complex with the antagonist is similar to that of the unliganded resting dimer. The antagonist wedges the protomer to maintain an inactive open form. The glutamate/Gd3+ complex is an exact 2-fold symmetric dimer, where each bi-lobed protomer adopts the closed conformation. The surface of the C-terminal domain contains an acidic patch, whose negative charges are alleviated by the metal cation to stabilize the active dimeric structure. The structural comparison between the active and resting dimers suggests that glutamate binding tends to induce domain closing and a small shift of a helix in the dimer interface. Furthermore, an interprotomer contact including the acidic patch inhibited dimer formation by the two open protomers in the active state. These findings provide a structural basis to describe the link between ligand binding and the dimer interface.

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