Activation of a dimeric metabotropic glutamate receptor by intersubunit rearrangement.

J Biol Chem 2007 Nov 13;282(45):33000-8. Epub 2007 Sep 13.

University of Montpellier 1 and 2, CNRS UMR 5203, Institute of Functional Genomics, 141 rue de la Cardonille, Montpellier, France.

Although many G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) can form dimers, a possible role of this phenomenon in their activation remains elusive. A recent and exciting proposal is that a dynamic intersubunit interplay may contribute to GPCR activation. Here, we examined this possibility using dimeric metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). We first developed a system to perfectly control their subunit composition and show that mGluR dimers do not form larger oligomers. We then examined an mGluR dimer containing one subunit in which the extracellular agonist-binding domain was uncoupled from the G protein-activating transmembrane domain. Despite this uncoupling in one protomer, agonist stimulation resulted in symmetric activation of either transmembrane domain in the dimer with the same efficiency. This, plus other data, can only be explained by an intersubunit rearrangement as the activation mechanism. Although well established for other types of receptors such as tyrosine kinase and guanylate cyclase receptors, this is the first clear demonstration that such a mechanism may also apply to GPCRs.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M702542200DOI Listing
November 2007
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References

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Trends Pharmacol. Sci. 2001

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