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

Structure of the noncompetitive antagonist-binding site of the Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. [3H]meproadifen mustard reacts selectively with alpha-subunit Glu-262.

[3H]Meproadifen mustard, an affinity label for the noncompetitive antagonist site of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR), specifically alkylates the AChR alpha-subunit when the acetylcholine-binding sites are occupied by agonist (Dreyer, E. B., Hasan, F., Cohen, S. G., and Cohen, J. B. (1986) J. Biol. Chem. 261, 13727-13734). In this report, we identify the site of alkylation within the alpha-subunit as Glu-262. AChR-rich membranes from Torpedo californica electric organ were reacted with [3H]meproadifen mustard in the presence of carbamylcholine and in the absence or presence of nonradioactive meproadifen to define specific alkylation of the noncompetitive antagonist site. Alkylated alpha-subunits were isolated and subjected to chemical or enzymatic cleavage. When digests with CNBr in 70% trifluoroacetic acid or 70% formic acid were fractionated by gel filtration high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), specifically labeled material was recovered in the void volume fractions. Based upon NH2-terminal sequence analysis, for both digests, the void volume fractions contained a fragment beginning at Gln-208 before the M1 hydrophobic sequence, whereas the sample from the digest in trifluoroacetic acid also contained as a primary sequence a fragment beginning at Thr-244 and extending through the M2 hydrophobic sequence. Sequence analysis revealed no release of 3H for the sample from digestion in formic acid, whereas for the trifluoroacetic acid digest, there was specific release of 3H in cycle 19, which would correspond to Glu-262. This site of alkylation was confirmed by isolation by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and reversed-phase HPLC of a specifically labeled fragment from an endoproteinase Lys-C digest of the alkylated alpha-subunit. NH2-terminal amino acid sequencing revealed release of 3H at cycle 20 from a fragment beginning at Met-243 and extending into the M3 hydrophobic sequence. Because [3H]meproadifen mustard contains, as its reactive group, a positively charged quaternary aziridinium ion, Glu-262 of the alpha-subunit is identified as a contributor to the cation-binding domain of the noncompetitive antagonist-binding site and thus of the ion channel.[1]


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