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Biochemistry. 2003 Jan 21;42(2):271-83.

Identification of amino acids in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist binding site and ion channel photolabeled by 4-[(3-trifluoromethyl)-3H-diazirin-3-yl]benzoylcholine, a novel photoaffinity antagonist.

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Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


[(3)H]4-[(3-trifluoromethyl)-3H-diazirin-3-yl]benzoylcholine (TDBzcholine) was synthesized and used as a photoaffinity probe to map the orientation of an aromatic choline ester within the agonist binding sites of the Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). TDBzcholine acts as a nAChR competitive antagonist that binds at equilibrium with equal affinity to both agonist sites (K(D) approximately 10 microM). Upon UV irradiation (350 nm), nAChR-rich membranes equilibrated with [(3)H]TDBzcholine incorporate (3)H into the alpha, gamma, and delta subunits in an agonist-inhibitable manner. The specific residues labeled by [(3)H]TDBzcholine were determined by N-terminal sequence analysis of subunit fragments produced by enzymatic cleavage and purified by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and/or reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. For the alpha subunit, [(3)H]TDBzcholine photoincorporated into alphaCys-192, alphaCys-193, and alphaPro-194. For the gamma and delta subunits, [(3)H]TDBzcholine incorporated into homologous leucine residues, gammaLeu-109 and deltaLeu-111. The photolabeling of these amino acids suggests that when the antagonist TDBzcholine occupies the agonist binding sites, the Cys-192-193 disulfide and Pro-194 from the alpha subunit Segment C are oriented toward the agonist site and are in proximity to gammaLeu-109/deltaLeu-111 in Segment E, a conclusion consistent with the structure of the binding site in the molluscan acetylcholine binding protein, a soluble protein that is homologous to the nAChR extracellular domain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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