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G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) form the largest family of receptors encoded by the human genome (around 800 genes). They transduce signals by coupling to a small number of heterotrimeric G proteins (16 genes encoding different α-subunits). Each human cell contains several GPCRs and G proteins. The structural determinants of coupling of Gs to four different GPCRs have been elucidated1-4, but the molecular details of how the other G-protein classes couple to GPCRs are unknown. Here we present the cryo-electron microscopy structure of the serotonin 5-HT1B receptor (5-HT1BR) bound to the agonist donitriptan and coupled to an engineered Go heterotrimer. In this complex, 5-HT1BR is in an active state; the intracellular domain of the receptor is in a similar conformation to that observed for the β2-adrenoceptor (β2AR) 3 or the adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) 1 in complex with Gs. In contrast to the complexes with Gs, the gap between the receptor and the Gβ-subunit in the Go-5-HT1BR complex precludes molecular contacts, and the interface between the Gα-subunit of Go and the receptor is considerably smaller. These differences are likely to be caused by the differences in the interactions with the C terminus of the Go α-subunit. The molecular variations between the interfaces of Go and Gs in complex with GPCRs may contribute substantially to both the specificity of coupling and the kinetics of signalling.


Javier García-Nafría, Rony Nehmé, Patricia C Edwards, Christopher G Tate. Cryo-EM structure of the serotonin 5-HT1B receptor coupled to heterotrimeric Go. Nature. 2018 Jun;558(7711):620-623

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PMID: 29925951

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