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Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Feb 2019 - 22 Feb 2019

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2019 Apr 02




Dynamic Role of the G Protein in Stabilizing the Active State of the Adenosine A Receptor.


Lee S, Nivedha AK, Tate CG, Vaidehi N
Structure. 2019 Apr 02; 27(4):703-712.e3.
PMID: 30713025.


Agonist binding in the extracellular region of the G protein-coupled adenosine A2A receptor increases its affinity to the G proteins in the intracellular region, and vice versa. The structural basis for this effect is not evident from the crystal structures of AR in various conformational states since it stems from the receptor dynamics. Using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations on four different conformational states of the adenosine A receptor, we observed that the agonists show decreased ligand mobility, lower entropy of the extracellular loops in the active-intermediate state compared with the inactive state. In contrast, the entropy of the intracellular region increases to prime the receptor for coupling the G protein. Coupling of the G protein to AR shrinks the agonist binding site, making tighter receptor agonist contacts with an increase in the strength of allosteric communication compared with the active-intermediate state. These insights provide a strong basis for structure-based ligand design studies.