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Biochimie. 2011 Apr;93(4):669-77. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2010.12.010. Epub 2010 Dec 23.

Identification by photoaffinity labeling of the extracellular N-terminal domain of PAC1 receptor as the major binding site for PACAP.

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Laboratoire d'Études Moléculaires et Pharmacologiques des Peptides (LEMPP), INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Ville de Laval, Qc, Canada.


Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) exerts many crucial biological functions through the interaction with its specific PAC1 receptor (PAC1-R), a class B G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). To identify the binding sites of PACAP in the PAC1-R, three peptide derivatives containing a photoreactive p-benzoyl-phenylalanine (Bpa) residue were developed. These photosensitive PACAP analogs were fully biologically active and competent to displace radiolabeled Ac-PACAP27 from the PAC1-R. Subsequently, the (125)I-labeled photoprobes were used to anchor the PAC1-R expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Photolabeling led to the formation of two protein complexes of 76 and 67 kDa, representing different glycosylated forms of the receptor. Proteinase and chemical cleavages of the peptide-receptor complexes revealed that (125)I[Bpa(0), Nle(17)]PACAP27, (125)I[Bpa(6), Nle(17)]PACAP27 and (125)I[Nle(17), Bpa(22)]PACAP27 covalently labeled the Ser(98) - Met(111) segment, the Ser(124) - Glu(125) dipeptide and the Ser(141) - Met(172) fragment, respectively. Taking into account the topology of the PAC1-R, these segments are mainly located within the extracellular N-terminal domain, indicating that this PAC1-R domain is the major binding site of PACAP27. The present study constitutes the first characterization of the binding domains of PACAP to its specific receptor and suggests heterogeneity within the binding mode of peptide ligands to class B GPCRs.

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