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

Cysteine 2.59(89) in the second transmembrane domain of human CB2 receptor is accessible within the ligand binding crevice: evidence for possible CB2 deviation from a rhodopsin template.

In this study, the sensitivity of the CB2 receptor to methanethiosulfonate (MTS) derivatives was tested, and a native cysteine residue conferring the sensitivity was identified. By incubating human embryonic kidney 293 cells stably transfected with CB2 receptors and MTS derivatives such as MTS ethylammonium (MTSEA), [(3)H]HU-243 binding was inhibited. Pretreatment of the CB2 receptor with cannabinoid ligands prevented this inhibition, suggesting that MTSEA modification occurred within the binding crevice. To identify the cysteine(s) responsible for the MTSEA sensitivity, 10 CB2 mutants were prepared in which the eight cysteines in transmembrane domains or extracellular loop 2 were mutated to serine or alanine, one at a time or in combination. Five mutants exhibited specific [(3)H]HU-243 binding, with K(d) and B(max) values similar to those of wild-type CB2. However, five other mutants had no detectable ligand binding and were not detected on cell membranes by Western blot analysis. Among the five mutants with normal binding, only the sensitivity to MTSEA of the C2.59(89)S mutant was reduced significantly. These data demonstrate that C2.59(89) is the residue that mainly confers the inhibitory effect of MTSEA on ligand binding. Furthermore, the magnitude of the second-order rate constant (1.14 +/- 0.28 M(-1)s(-1)) for the MTSEA reaction with wild-type CB2 suggests that C2.59(89) resides at the margin of the CB2 binding site crevice. The accessibility of C2.59(89) to MTSEA provides experimental evidence for a possible conformational difference between TMH2 of CB2 versus Rho. Modeling studies undertaken to explore the origin of such differences suggest it is possibly caused by the conformational influence of S2.54(84).[1]


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