Mechanism of glutamate receptor desensitization

Yu Sun, Rich Olson, Michelle Horning, Neali Armstrong, Mark Mayer, Eric Gouaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

554 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ligand-gated ion channels transduce chemical signals into electrical impulses by opening a transmembrane pore in response to binding one or more neurotransmitter molecules. After activation, many ligand-gated ion channels enter a desensitized state in which the neurotransmitter remains bound but the ion channel is closed. Although receptor desensitization is crucial to the functioning of many ligand-gated ion channels in vivo, the molecular basis of this important process has until now defied analysis. Using the GluR2 AMPA-sensitive glutamate receptor, we show here that the ligand-binding cores form dimers and that stabilization of the intradimer interface by either mutations or allosteric modulators reduces desensitization. Perturbations that destabilize the interface enhance desensitization. Receptor activation involves conformational changes within each subunit that result in an increase in the separation of portions of the receptor that are linked to the ion channel. Our analysis defines the dimer interface in the resting and activated state, indicates how ligand binding is coupled to gating, and suggests modes of dimer-dimer interaction in the assembled tetramer. Desensitization occurs through rearrangement of the dimer interface, which disengages the agonist-induced conformational change in the ligand-binding core from the ion channel gate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalNature
Volume417
Issue number6886
DOIs
StatePublished - May 16 2002
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Ligand-Gated Ion Channels
Glutamate Receptors
Ion Channels
Ligands
Neurotransmitter Agents
alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid
Mutation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Sun, Y., Olson, R., Horning, M., Armstrong, N., Mayer, M., & Gouaux, E. (2002). Mechanism of glutamate receptor desensitization. Nature, 417(6886), 245-253. https://doi.org/10.1038/417245a

Mechanism of glutamate receptor desensitization. / Sun, Yu; Olson, Rich; Horning, Michelle; Armstrong, Neali; Mayer, Mark; Gouaux, Eric.

In: Nature, Vol. 417, No. 6886, 16.05.2002, p. 245-253.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sun, Y, Olson, R, Horning, M, Armstrong, N, Mayer, M & Gouaux, E 2002, 'Mechanism of glutamate receptor desensitization', Nature, vol. 417, no. 6886, pp. 245-253. https://doi.org/10.1038/417245a
Sun Y, Olson R, Horning M, Armstrong N, Mayer M, Gouaux E. Mechanism of glutamate receptor desensitization. Nature. 2002 May 16;417(6886):245-253. https://doi.org/10.1038/417245a
Sun, Yu ; Olson, Rich ; Horning, Michelle ; Armstrong, Neali ; Mayer, Mark ; Gouaux, Eric. / Mechanism of glutamate receptor desensitization. In: Nature. 2002 ; Vol. 417, No. 6886. pp. 245-253.
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