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Nature. 2008 Jul 24;454(7203):486-91. doi: 10.1038/nature07101. Epub 2008 Jun 25.

Structure of a beta1-adrenergic G-protein-coupled receptor.

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MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0QH, UK.


G-protein-coupled receptors have a major role in transmembrane signalling in most eukaryotes and many are important drug targets. Here we report the 2.7 A resolution crystal structure of a beta(1)-adrenergic receptor in complex with the high-affinity antagonist cyanopindolol. The modified turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) receptor was selected to be in its antagonist conformation and its thermostability improved by earlier limited mutagenesis. The ligand-binding pocket comprises 15 side chains from amino acid residues in 4 transmembrane alpha-helices and extracellular loop 2. This loop defines the entrance of the ligand-binding pocket and is stabilized by two disulphide bonds and a sodium ion. Binding of cyanopindolol to the beta(1)-adrenergic receptor and binding of carazolol to the beta(2)-adrenergic receptor involve similar interactions. A short well-defined helix in cytoplasmic loop 2, not observed in either rhodopsin or the beta(2)-adrenergic receptor, directly interacts by means of a tyrosine with the highly conserved DRY motif at the end of helix 3 that is essential for receptor activation.

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