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A mechanism for agonist activation of the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor through modelling & molecular dynamics

Gómez Santiago, Carla, Paci, Emanuele, Donnelly, Dan
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2018 v.498 pp. 359-365
X-radiation, agonists, drugs, glucagon-like peptide 1, models, molecular dynamics, noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, obesity, receptors
The receptor for glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1R) is a validated drug target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Recently the first three structures of GLP-1R were published – an X-ray structure of the apo transmembrane domain in the inactive conformation; an X-ray structure of the full-length receptor bound to a truncated peptide agonist; and a cryo-EM structure of the full-length receptor bound with GLP-1 and coupled to the G protein Gs. Since the inactive structure was incomplete, and the two active-state structures shared significant differences, we utilised all available knowledge to build hybrid models of the full length active and inactive state receptors. The two models were simulated using molecular dynamics and the output trajectories analysed and compared to reveal insights into the mechanism for agonist-mediated receptor activation. His-7, Glu-9 and Asp-15 of GLP-1 act together to destabilise transmembrane helix 6 and extracellular loop 3 in order to generate an active conformation of GLP-1R.