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Structural basis for potentiation by alcohols and anaesthetics in a ligand-gated ion channel

Abstract : Ethanol alters nerve signalling by interacting with proteins in the central nervous system, particularly pentameric ligand-gated ion channels. A recent series of mutagenesis experiments on Gloeobacter violaceus ligand-gated ion channel, a prokaryotic member of this family, identified a single-site variant that is potentiated by pharmacologically relevant concentrations of ethanol. Here we determine crystal structures of the ethanol-sensitized variant in the absence and presence of ethanol and related modulators, which bind in a transmembrane cavity between channel subunits and may stabilize the open form of the channel. Structural and mutagenesis studies defined overlapping mechanisms of potentiation by alcohols and anaesthetics via the inter-subunit cavity. Furthermore, homology modelling show this cavity to be conserved in human ethanol-sensitive glycine and GABA(A) receptors, and to involve residues previously shown to influence alcohol and anaesthetic action on these proteins. These results suggest a common structural basis for ethanol potentiation of an important class of targets for neurological actions of ethanol.
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Contributor : Ana Cova Rodrigues Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, March 2, 2018 - 12:21:16 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 7, 2022 - 10:10:34 AM

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Ludovic Sauguet, Rebecca J. Howard, Laurie Malherbe, Ui S. Lee, Pierre-Jean Corringer, et al.. Structural basis for potentiation by alcohols and anaesthetics in a ligand-gated ion channel. Nature Communications, 2013, 4, pp.1697. ⟨10.1038/ncomms2682⟩. ⟨pasteur-01721610⟩



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