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Antagonism of ligand-gated ion channel receptors: two domains of the glycine receptor alpha subunit form the strychnine-binding site


The inhibitory glycine receptor (GlyR) is a member of the ligand-gated ion channel receptor superfamily. Glycine activation of the receptor is antagonized by the convulsant alkaloid strychnine. Using in vitro mutagenesis and functional analysis of the cDNA encoding the alpha 1 subunit of the human GlyR, we have identified several amino acid residues that form the strychnine-binding site. These residues were identified by transient expression of mutated cDNAs in mammalian (293) cells and examination of resultant [3H]strychnine binding, glycine displacement of [3H]strychnine, and electrophysiological responses to the application of glycine and strychnine. This mutational analysis revealed that residues from two separate domains within the alpha 1 subunit form the binding site for the antagonist strychnine. The first domain includes the amino acid residues Gly-160 and Tyr-161, and the second domain includes the residues Lys-200 and Tyr-202. These results, combined with analyses of other ligand-gated ion channel receptors, suggest a conserved tertiary structure and a common mechanism for antagonism in this receptor superfamily.

Type Journal
ISBN 0027-8424 (Print)
Authors Vandenberg, R. J.;French, C. R.;Barry, P. H.;Shine, J.;Schofield, P. R. :
Garvan Authors Prof John Shine
Publisher Name PNAS
Published Date 1992-01-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 89
Published Issue 5
Published Pages 1765-9
Status Published In-print