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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Characterization of the ligand-binding domain of the ecdysteroid receptor from Drosophila melanogaster.

Mutants created by site-directed mutagenesis were used to elucidate the function of amino acids involved in ligand binding to ecdysteroid receptor (EcR) and heterodimer formation with ultraspiracle (USP). The results demonstrate the importance of the C-terminal part of the D-domain and helix 12 of EcR for hormone binding. Some amino acids are involved either in ligand binding to EcR (E476, M504, D572, I617, N626) or ligand-dependent heterodimerization as determined by gel mobility shift assays (A612, L615, T619), while others are involved in both functions (K497, E648). Some amino acids are suboptimal for ligand binding (L615, T619), but mediate ligand-dependent dimerization. We conclude that the enhanced regulatory potential by ligand-dependent modulation of dimerization in the wild type is achieved at the expense of optimal ligand binding. Mutation of amino acids (K497, E648) involved in the salt bridge between helix 4 and 12 impair ligand binding to EcR more severely than hormone binding to the heterodimer, indicating that to some extent heterodimerization compensates for the deleterious effect of certain mutations. Different effects of the same point mutations on ligand binding to EcR and EcR/USP (R511, A612, L615, I617, T619, N626) indicate that the ligand-binding pocket is modified by heterodimerization.[1]


  1. Characterization of the ligand-binding domain of the ecdysteroid receptor from Drosophila melanogaster. Grebe, M., Przibilla, S., Henrich, V.C., Spindler-Barth, M. Biol. Chem. (2003) [Pubmed]
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