Combinatorial mutations in loops D and F strongly influence responses of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor to imidacloprid

Masaru Shimomura, Maiko Yokota, Masako Okumura, Kazuhiko Matsuda, Miki Akamatsu, David B. Sattelle, Koichiro Komai

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The nitro group of a neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, plays a key role in its selective actions on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nicotinic AChRs) and is postulated to bind close to residues Q79 in loop D and G189 in loop F of the chicken α7 nicotinic AChR. To evaluate the relative contributions of these residues to interactions with imidacloprid, Q79 and G189 were replaced in tandem by first basic then acidic residues. Changes in the currents evoked by imidacloprid and acetylcholine (ACh) on the α7 wild type and mutant receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes were investigated using two-electrode voltage clamp electrophysiology. An increase in the efficacy of imidacloprid for the α7 receptor resulting from the Q79K and Q79R mutations was suppressed by a G189E mutation in loop F. However, the increases in efficacy resulting from such Q79 mutations were scarcely influenced by a G189D substitution. Three-dimensional modeling of the α7 nicotinic AChR, based on the acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) of Lymnaea stagnalis, suggests that the reduced efficacy of imidacloprid following the G189E mutation is likely to result from carboxylate interference with the electronic interactions between the nitro group of imidacloprid and the basic residues in loop D. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)71-77
    Number of pages6
    JournalBrain research
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2003


    • Chicken α7 subunit
    • Imidacloprid
    • Neonicotinoid
    • Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor
    • Receptor mutation
    • Xenopus laevis oocyte


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