Receptor conformations involved in dopamine D 2L receptor functional selectivity induced by selected transmembrane-5 serine mutations

J. Corey Fowler, Supriyo Bhattacharya, Jonathan D. Urban, Nagarajan Vaidehi, Richard B. Mailman

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32 Scopus citations


Although functional selectivity is now widely accepted, the molecular basis is poorly understood. We have studied how aspects of transmembrane region 5 (TM5) of the dopamine D 2Lreceptor interacts with three rationally selected rigid ligands (dihydrexidine, dinapsoline, and dinoxyline) and the reference compounds dopamine and quinpirole. As was expected from homology modeling, mutation of three TM5 serine residues to alanine (S5.42A, S5.43A, S5.46A) had little effect on antagonist affinity. All three mutations decreased the affinity of the agonist ligands to different degrees, S5.46A being somewhat less affected. Four functions [adenylate cyclase (AC), extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 phosphorylation (MAPK), arachidonic acid release (AA), and guanosine 5′-O-(3-thio)triphosphate binding (GTPγS)] were assessed. The intrinsic activity (IA) of quinpirole was unaffected by any of the mutations, whereas S5.42A and S5.46A mutations abolished the activity of dopamine and the three rigid ligands, although dihydrexidine retained IA at MAPK function only with S5.42A. Remarkably, S5.43A did not markedly affect IA for AC and MAPK for any of the ligands and eliminated AA activity for dinapsoline and dihydrexidine but not dinoxyline. These data suggest that this mutation did not disrupt the overall conformation or signaling ability of the mutant receptors but differentially affected ligand activation. Computational studies indicate that these D 2 agonists stabilize multiple receptor conformations. This has led to models showing the stabilized conformations and interhelical and receptor-ligand contacts corresponding to the different activation pathways stabilized by various agonists. These data provide a basis for understanding D 2L functional selectivity and rationally discovering functionally selective D 2 drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-831
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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