The functional topography of transmembrane domain 3 of the M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor, revealed by scanning mutagenesis

Zhi Liang Lu, Edward C. Hulme*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Alanine-scanning mutagenesis has been applied to residues 100-121 in transmembrane domain 3 of the M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor. This study complements a previous investigation of the triad Asp122-Arg123- Tyr124 (Lu, Z-L., Curtis, C. A., Jones, P. G., Pavia, J., and Hulme, E. C. (1997) Mol. Pharmacol. 51, 234-241). The results demonstrate the α-helical secondary structure of the domain and suggest its orientation with respect to the other transmembrane domains. The C-terminal part of the helix appears to be largely buried within the receptor structure. On its surface, there is a patch of three residues, Val113, Leu116, and Ser120, which may form intramolecular contacts that help to stabilize the inactive ground state of the receptor. Mutagenic disruption of these increased agonist affinity and signaling efficacy. In two cases (L116A and S120A), this led to constitutive activation of the receptor. Parallel to the helix axis and spanning the whole transmembrane region, a distinct strip of residues on one face of transmembrane domain 3 forms intermolecular (acetylcholine-receptor, receptor-G protein) or intrareceptor bonds that contribute to the activated state. The binding of acetylcholine may destabilize the first set of contacts while favoring the formation of the second.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7309-7315
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes

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