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J Biol Chem. 2012 Dec 28;287(53):44301-19. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.413161. Epub 2012 Nov 5.

Identification of three residues essential for 5-hydroxytryptamine 2A-metabotropic glutamate 2 (5-HT2A·mGlu2) receptor heteromerization and its psychoactive behavioral function.

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Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.


Serotonin and glutamate G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) neurotransmission affects cognition and perception in humans and rodents. GPCRs are capable of forming heteromeric complexes that differentially alter cell signaling, but the role of this structural arrangement in modulating behavior remains unknown. Here, we identified three residues located at the intracellular end of transmembrane domain four that are necessary for the metabotropic glutamate 2 (mGlu2) receptor to be assembled as a GPCR heteromer with the serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine 2A (5-HT(2A)) receptor in the mouse frontal cortex. Substitution of these residues (Ala-677(4.40), Ala-681(4.44), and Ala-685(4.48)) leads to absence of 5-HT(2A)·mGlu2 receptor complex formation, an effect that is associated with a decrease in their heteromeric ligand binding interaction. Disruption of heteromeric expression with mGlu2 attenuates the psychosis-like effects induced in mice by hallucinogenic 5-HT(2A) agonists. Furthermore, the ligand binding interaction between the components of the 5-HT(2A)·mGlu2 receptor heterocomplex is up-regulated in the frontal cortex of schizophrenic subjects as compared with controls. Together, these findings provide structural evidence for the unique behavioral function of a GPCR heteromer.

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