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An allosteric ligand stabilizes distinct conformations in the M2 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor

By Jun Xu, Harald Hubner, Yunfei Hu, Xiaogang Niu, Peter Gmeiner, Changwen Jin, Brian Kobilka

Posted 15 Feb 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.02.14.431178

Allosteric modulators provide therapeutic advantages over orthosteric drugs. A plethora of allosteric modulators have been identified for several GPCRs, particularly for muscarinic receptors (mAChRs). To study the molecular mechanisms governing allosteric modulation, we utilized a recently developed NMR system to investigate the conformational changes in the M2 muscarinic receptor (M2R) in response to the positive allosteric modulator (PAM) LY2119620. Our studies provide the first biophysical data showing that LY2119620 can substantially change the structure and dynamics of M2R in both the extracellular and G-protein coupling domains during the activation process. These NMR data suggest that LY2119620 may function by stabilizing distinct sets of conformations not observed in the presence of orthosteric agonists alone, which may account for the different signaling behaviors of the M2R when bound to LY2119620. Our studies provide new structural information for understanding the mechanism of GPCR allostery, and may facilitate the rational design of allosteric therapeutics targeting muscarinic receptors.

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