Competitive antagonism of AMPA receptors by ligands of different classes: Crystal structure of ATPO bound to the GluR2 ligand-binding core, in comparison with DNQX

Anders Hogner, Jeremy R. Greenwood, Tommy Liljefors, Marie Louise Lunn, Jan Egebjerg, Ingrid K. Larsen, Eric Gouaux, Jette S. Kastrup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

93 Scopus citations


Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) constitute a family of ligand-gated ion channels that are essential for mediating fast synaptic transmission in the central nervous system. This study presents a high-resolution X-ray structure of the competitive antagonist (S)-2-amino-3-[5-tertbutyl-3-(phosphonomethoxy)-4-isoxazolyl]propionic acid (ATPO) in complex with the ligand-binding core of the receptor. Comparison with the only previous structure of the ligand-binding core in complex with an antagonist, 6,7-dinitro-2,3-quinoxalinedione (DNQX) (Armstrong, N.; Gouaux, E. Neuron 2000, 28, 165-181), reveals that ATPO and DNQX stabilize an open form of the ligand-binding core by different sets of interactions. Computational techniques are used to quantify the differences between these two ligands and to map the binding site. The isoxazole moiety of ATPO acts primarily as a spacer, and other scaffolds could potentially be used. Whereas agonists induce substantial domain closures compared to the apo structure, ATPO only induces minor conformational changes. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that domain closure is related to receptor activation. To facilitate the design of novel AMPA receptor antagonists, we present a modified model of the binding site that includes key residues involved in ligand recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-221
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 16 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this