Cooperative Conformational Changes in a G-protein-coupled Receptor Dimer, the Leukotriene B4Receptor BLT1
Journal of Biological Chemistry
We have used an isolated receptor, the leukotriene B 4 receptor BLT1, to analyze the mechanism of receptor activation in a G-protein-coupled receptor dimer. The isolated receptor is essentially a dimer whether the agonist is present or not, provided the detergent used stabilizes the inactive dimeric assembly. We have produced a receptor mutant where Cys 97 in the third transmembrane domain has been replaced by a serine. This mutation leads to an ϳ100-fold decrease in the affinity for the
... nity for the agonist. 5-Hydroxytryptophan has then been introduced at position 234 in the C97A mutant sixth transmembrane domain. Agonist binding to the labeled receptor is associated with variations in the fluorescence properties of 5-hydroxytryptophan due to specific agonist-induced conformational changes. The C97A mutant labeled with 5-hydroxytryptophan has then been associated with a wild-type receptor in a dimeric complex that has been subsequently purified. The purified complex activates its G-protein partner in a similar manner as the wildtype homodimer. Due to the difference in the affinity for the agonist between the wild-type and mutant protomers in this dimer, we have been able to reach a state where one of the protomers, the mutant, is in its unliganded state, whereas the other, the wild type, is loaded with the agonist. We show that agonist binding to the wild-type receptor induces specific changes in the conformation of the unliganded protomer, as evidenced by the variations in the emission of the 5-hydroxytryptophan residue in the mutant receptor. These data provide a direct demonstration for agonist-induced cooperative conformational changes in a GPCR dimer.