Conotoxin alpha D-GeXXA utilizes a novel strategy to antagonize nicotinic acetylcholine receptorsXu, S., Zhang, T., Kompella, S.N., Yan, M., Lu, A., Wang, Y., Shao, X., Chi, C., Adams, D.J., Ding, J., Wang, C.
(2015) Sci Rep 5: 14261-14261
- PubMed: 26395518
- DOI: 10.1038/srep14261
- PubMed Abstract:
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play essential roles in transmitting acetylcholine-mediated neural signals across synapses and neuromuscular junctions, and are also closely linked to various diseases and clinical conditions. Therefore, nov ...
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play essential roles in transmitting acetylcholine-mediated neural signals across synapses and neuromuscular junctions, and are also closely linked to various diseases and clinical conditions. Therefore, novel nAChR-specific compounds have great potential for both neuroscience research and clinical applications. Conotoxins, the peptide neurotoxins produced by cone snails, are a rich reservoir of novel ligands that target receptors, ion channels and transporters in the nervous system. From the venom of Conus generalis, we identified a novel dimeric nAChR-inhibiting αD-conotoxin GeXXA. By solving the crystal structure and performing structure-guided dissection of this toxin, we demonstrated that the monomeric C-terminal domain of αD-GeXXA, GeXXA-CTD, retains inhibitory activity against the α9α10 nAChR subtype. Furthermore, we identified that His7 of the rat α10 nAChR subunit determines the species preference of αD-GeXXA, and is probably part of the binding site of this toxin. These results together suggest that αD-GeXXA cooperatively binds to two inter-subunit interfaces on the top surface of nAChR, thus allosterically disturbing the opening of the receptor. The novel antagonistic mechanism of αD-GeXXA via a new binding site on nAChRs provides a valuable basis for the rational design of new nAChR-targeting compounds.
Institute of Protein Research, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai 200092, China.