Identification of residues at the α and ε subunit interfaces mediating species selectivity of Waglerin-1 for nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

Brian E. Molles, Parastoo Rezai, Eric F. Kline, Joseph J. McArdle, Steven M. Sine, Palmer Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Waglerin-1 (Wtx-1) is a 22-amino acid peptide that is a competitive antagonist of the muscle nicotinic receptor (nAChR). We find that Wtx-1 binds 2100-fold more tightly to the α-ε than to the α-δ binding site interface of the mouse nAChR. Moreover, Wtx-1 binds 100-fold more tightly to the α-ε interface from mouse nAChR than that from rat or human sources. Site-directed mutagenesis of residues differing in the extracellular domains of rat and mouse ε subunits indicates that residues 59 and 115 mediate the species difference in Wtx-1 affinity. Mutation of residues 59 (Asp in mouse, Glu in rat ε) and 115 (Tyr in mouse, Ser in rat ε) converts Wtx-1 affinity for the α-ε interface of one species to that of the other species. Studies of different mutations at position 59 indicate both steric and electrostatic contributions to Wtx-1 affinity, whereas at position 115, both aromatic and polar groups contribute to affinity. The human nAChR also has lower affinity for Wtx-1 than mouse nAChR, but unlike rat nAChR, residues in both α and ε subunits mediate the affinity difference. In human nAChR, polar residues (Ser-187 and Thr-189) confer low affinity, whereas in mouse nAChR aromatic residues (Trp-187 and Phe-189) confer high affinity. The overall results show that non-conserved residues at the nAChR binding site, although not crucial for activation by ACh, govern the potency of neuromuscular toxins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5433-5440
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume277
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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