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Biochemistry. 2006 Sep 19;45(37):11200-7.

Determinants of alpha-conotoxin BuIA selectivity on the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor beta subunit.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84112-0840, USA.

Abstract

Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are pentamers composed of alpha and beta subunits. Different molecular compositions of these subunits constitute various receptor subtypes that are implicated in the pathophysiology and/or treatment of several disease states but are difficult to distinguish pharmacologically. Alpha-conotoxins are a group of small, structurally defined peptides that may be used to molecularly dissect the nAChR-binding site. Heteromeric nAChRs generally contain either a beta2 or beta4 subunit in addition to an alpha subunit at the ligand-binding interface. Alpha-conotoxin BuIA kinetically distinguishes between beta2- and beta4-containing nAChRs, with long off times for the latter. Mutational studies were used to assess the influence of residues that line the putative acetylcholine-binding pocket but differ between beta2 and beta4 subunits. Residues Thr/Lys59, Val/Ile111, and Phe/Gln119 of the respective beta2 and beta4 subunits are critical to off-rate differences. Among these residues, Thr59 of nAChR beta2 may interfere with effective access to the binding site, whereas Lys59 may facilitate this binding.

PMID:
16964981
PMCID:
PMC2824546
DOI:
10.1021/bi0611715
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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