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© Research
Publication : Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences

The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: a typical ‘allosteric machine’

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences - 19 Jun 2018

Changeux JP

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 29735728

Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci. 2018 06;373(1749)

The concept of allosteric interaction was initially proposed to account for the inhibitory feedback mechanism mediated by bacterial regulatory enzymes. In contrast with the classical mechanism of competitive, steric, interaction between ligands for a common site, allosteric interactions take place between topographically distinct sites and are mediated by a discrete and reversible conformational change of the protein. The concept was soon extended to membrane receptors for neurotransmitters and shown to apply to the signal transduction process which, in the case of the acetylcholine nicotinic receptor (nAChR), links the ACh binding site to the ion channel. Pharmacological effectors, referred to as allosteric modulators, such as Ca ions and ivermectin, were discovered that enhance the transduction process when they bind to sites distinct from the orthosteric ACh site and the ion channel. The recent X-ray and electron microscopy structures, at atomic resolution, of the resting and active conformations of several homologues of the nAChR, in combination with atomistic molecular dynamics simulations reveal a stepwise quaternary transition in the transduction process with tertiary changes modifying the boundaries between subunits. These interfaces host orthosteric and allosteric modulatory sites which structural organization changes in the course of the transition. The nAChR appears as a typical allosteric machine. The model emerging from these studies has led to the conception and development of several new pharmacological agents.This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘Allostery and molecular machines’.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29735728