Kinoshita, Mikitaka; Okada, Tetsuji
Structural conservation among the rhodopsin-like and other G protein-coupled receptors
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 5 Art. No. 9176, MAR 17 2015

Intramolecular remote coupling within the polypeptide backbones of membrane proteins is difficult to analyze owing to the limited structural information available at the atomic level. Nonetheless, recent progress in the crystallographic study of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) has provided an unprecedented opportunity for understanding the sophisticated architecture of heptahelical transmembrane (7TM) bundles. These 7TM bundles can respond to a wide range of extracellular stimuli while retaining the common function of binding trimeric G proteins. Here we have systematically analyzed select sets of inactive-like 7TM bundles to highlight the structural conservation of the receptors, in terms of intramolecular C-alpha-C-alpha distances. Distances with the highest scores were found to be dominated by the intrahelical distances of helix III, regardless of the choice of bundles in the set, indicating that the intracellular half of this helix is highly conserved. Unexpectedly, the distances between the cytoplasmic side of helix I and the extracellular region of helix VI provided the largest contribution to the high score populations among the interhelical pairs in most of the selected sets, including class B, C and frizzled receptors. These findings are expected to be valuable in further studies of GPCRs with unknown structure and of other protein families.


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