Cysteine mutagenesis and homology modeling of the ligand-binding site of a kainate-binding protein

Z. Galen Wo, Kamaldeep K. Chohan, Haiying Chen, Michael J. Sutcliffe, Robert E. Oswald

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Glutamate receptors comprise the most abundant group of neurotransmitter receptors in the vertebrate central nervous system. Cysteine mutagenesis in combination with homology modeling has been used to study the determinants of kainate binding in a glutamate receptor subtype, a low molecular weight goldfish kainate-binding protein, GFKARβ. A construct of GFKARβ with no cysteines in the extracellular domain was produced, and single cysteine residues were introduced at selected positions. N-Ethylmaleimide or derivatized methanethiosulfonate reagents (neutral or charged) were used to modify the introduced cysteines covalently, and the effect on [3H]kainate binding was determined. In addition, cysteine mutants of GFKARβ transiently expressed in HEK293 cells were labeled with a membrane-impermeable biotinylating reagent followed by precipitation with streptavidin beads and specific detection of GFKARβ by Western blot analysis. The results are consistent with the proposal that the energy driving kainate binding is contributed both from residues within the binding site and from interactions between two regions (i.e. two lobes) of the protein that are brought into contact upon ligand binding in a manner analogous to that seen in bacterial amino acid-binding proteins.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)37210-37218
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
    Issue number52
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 1999


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