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

The major site of photoaffinity labeling of the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor by [3H]flunitrazepam is histidine 102 of the alpha subunit.

The alpha subunit of the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA(A)) receptor is known to be photoaffinity labeled by the classical benzodiazepine agonist, [3H]flunitrazepam. To identify the specific site for [3H]flunitrazepam photoincorporation in the receptor subunit, we have subjected photoaffinity labeled GABA(A) receptors from bovine cerebral cortex to specific cleavage with cyanogen bromide and purified the resulting photolabeled peptides by immunoprecipitation with an anti-flunitrazepam polyclonal serum. A major photolabeled peptide component from reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography of the immunopurified peptides was resolved by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate. The radioactivity profile indicated that the [3H]flunitrazepam photoaffinity label is covalently associated with a 5.4-kDa peptide. This peptide is glycosylated because treatment with the enzyme, peptide-N4-(N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminyl)asparagine amidase, reduced the molecular mass of the peptide to 3.2 kDa. Direct sequencing of the photolabeled peptide by automated Edman degradation showed that the radioactivity is released in the twelfth cycle. Based on the molecular mass of the peptides that can be generated by cyanogen bromide cleavage of the GABA(A) receptor alpha subunit and the potential sites for asparagine-linked glycosylation, the pattern of release of radioactivity during Edman degradation of the photolabeled peptide was mapped to the known amino acid sequence of the receptor subunit. The major site of photoincorporation by [3H]flunitrazepam on the GABA(A) receptor is shown to be alpha subunit residue His102 (numbering based on bovine alpha 1 sequence).[1]


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