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An Amino Acid Residue in the Second Extracellular Loop Determines the Agonist-Dependent Tolerance Property of the Human D3 Dopamine Receptor

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journal contribution
posted on 19.06.2013, 00:00 by Sara Gil-Mast, Sandhya Kortagere, Kokila Kota, Eldo V. Kuzhikandathil
The D3 dopamine receptor is a therapeutic target for treating various nervous system disorders such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and addictive behaviors. The crystal structure of the D3 receptor bound to an antagonist was recently described; however, the structural features that contribute to agonist-induced conformational changes and signaling properties are not well understood. We have previously described the conformation-dependent tolerance and slow response termination (SRT) signaling properties of the D3 receptor and identified the C147 residue in the second intracellular loop (IL2) of the D3 receptor as important for the tolerance property. Interestingly, while IL2 and the C147 residue, in particular, were important for dopamine- and quinpirole-induced tolerance, this residue did not affect the severe tolerance induced by the high affinity, D3 receptor-selective agonist, PD128907. Here, we used D2/D3 receptor chimeras and site-specific D3 receptor mutants to identify another residue, D187, in the second extracellular loop (EC2) of the human D3 receptor that mediates the tolerance property induced by PD128907, quinpirole, pramipexole, and dopamine. Molecular dynamics simulations confirmed the distinct conformation adopted by D3 receptor during tolerance and suggested that in the tolerant D3 receptor the D187 residue in EC2 forms a salt bridge with the H354 residue in EC3. Indeed, site-directed mutation of the H354 residue resulted in loss of PD1287907-induced tolerance. The mapping of specific amino acid residues that contribute to agonist-dependent conformation changes and D3 receptor signaling properties refines the agonist-bound D3 receptor pharmacophore model which will help develop novel D3 receptor agonists.