Substitution of Torpedo acetylcholine receptor alpha 1-subunit residues with snake alpha 1- and rat nerve alpha 3-subunit residues in recombinant fusion proteins: effect on alpha-bungarotoxin binding

Chaturvedi, V.; Donnelly-Roberts, D.L.; Lentz, T.L.

Biochemistry 31(5): 1370-1375


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-2960
PMID: 1736994
DOI: 10.1021/bi00120a012
Accession: 041480220

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A fusion protein consisting of the TrpE protein and residues 166-211 of the Torpedo acetylcholine receptor alpha 1 subunit was produced in Escherichia coli using a pATH10 expression vector. Residues in the Torpedo sequence were changed by means of oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis to residues present in snake alpha 1 subunit and rat nerve alpha 3 subunit which do not bind alpha-bungarotoxin. The fusion protein of the Torpedo sequence bound 125I-alpha-bungarotoxin with high affinity (IC50 = 2.5 x 10(-8) M from competition with unlabeled toxin, KD = 2.3 x 10(-8) M from equilibrium saturation binding data). Mutation of three Torpedo residues to snake residues, W184F, K185W, and W187S, had no effect on binding. Conversion of two additional Torpedo residues to snake, T191S and P194L, reduced alpha-bungarotoxin binding to undetectable levels. The P194L mutation alone abolished toxin binding. Mutation of three Torpedo alpha 1 residues to neuronal alpha 3-subunit residues, W187E, Y189K, and T191N, also abolished detectable alpha-bungarotoxin binding. Conversion of Try-189 to Asn which is present in the snake sequence (Y189N) abolished toxin binding. It is concluded that in the sequence of the alpha subunit of Torpedo encompassing Cys-192 and Cys-193, Try-189 and Pro-194 are important determinants of alpha-bungarotoxin binding. Tyr-189 may interact directly with cationic groups or participate in aromatic-aromatic interactions while Pro-194 may be necessary to maintain a conformation conductive to neurotoxin binding.