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Investigating the molecular mechanism of positive and negative allosteric modulators in the calcium-sensing receptor dimer

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Stine Engesgaard Jacobsen, Ulrik Gether, Hans Bräuner-Osborne

Allosteric modulators that are targeting the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) hold great therapeutic potential, and elucidating the molecular basis for modulation would thus benefit the development of novel therapeutics. In the present study, we aimed at investigating the mechanism of allosteric modulation in CaSR by testing dimers carrying mutations in the allosteric site of one or both of the subunits. To ensure measurements on a well-defined dimer composition, we applied a trans-activation system in which only the specific heterodimer of two loss-of-function mutants responded to agonist. Although one of these mutants was potentiated by a positive allosteric modulator, we showed that receptor activity was further potentiated in a trans-activation heterodimer containing a single allosteric site, however only when the allosteric site was located in the subunit responsible for G protein coupling. On the contrary, preventing activation in both subunits was necessary for obtaining full inhibition by a negative allosteric modulator. These findings correlate with the proposed activation mechanism of the metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), in which only a single transmembrane domain is activated at a time. CaSR and mGluRs belong to the class C G protein-coupled receptors, and our findings thus suggest that the activation mechanism is common to this subfamily.
Original languageEnglish
Article number46355
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2017

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