NMR structure of the thromboxane A2 receptor ligand recognition pocket

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Abstract

To overcome the difficulty of characterizing the structures of the extracellular loops (eLPs) of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) other than rhodopsin, we have explored a strategy to generate a three-dimensional structural model for a GPCR, the thromboxane A2 receptor. This three-dimensional structure was completed by the assembly of the NMR structures of the computation-guided constrained peptides that mimicked the extracellular loops and connected to the conserved seven transmembrane domains. The NMR structure-based model reveals the structural features of the eLPs, in which the second extracellular loop (eLP2) and the disulfide bond between the first extracellular loop (eLP1) and eLP2 play a major role in forming the ligand recognition pocket. The eLP2 conformation is dynamic and regulated by the oxidation and reduction of the disulfide bond, which affects ligand docking in the initial recognition. The reduced form of the thromboxane A2 receptor experienced a decrease in ligand binding activity due to the rearrangement of the eLP2 conformation. The ligand-bound receptor was, however, resistant to the reduction inactivation because the ligand covered the disulfide bond and stabilized the eLP2 conformation. This molecular mechanism of ligand recognition is the first that may be applied to other prostanoid receptors and other GPCRs.

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