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Glu2.53(90) of the GnRH receptor is part of the conserved G protein-coupled receptor structure and does not form a salt-bridge with Lys3.32(121)

Manilall, Ashmeetha, Stander, B. Andre, Madziva, Michael T., Millar, Robert P., Flanagan, Colleen A.
Molecular and cellular endocrinology 2019 v.481 pp. 53-61
G-protein coupled receptors, amino acids, crystal structure, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, hydrophobicity, models, mutants, mutation
GnRH receptor mutations, Glu2.53(90)Lys and Glu2.53(90)Asp, cause congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. The Glu2.53(90) side-chain has been proposed to form an intramolecular salt-bridge with Lys3.32(121), but conserved intramolecular interaction networks in G protein-coupled receptor crystal structures predict that it interacts with Ser3.35(124) and Trp6.48(280). We investigated interhelical interactions of Glu2.53(90) that stabilise GnRH receptor folding using functional analyses and computational modelling of mutant receptors. The Glu2.53(90)Asp mutant was non-functional, but mutants with hydrophobic amino acids or Arg substituted for Glu2.53(90) were functional, excluding a salt-bridge interaction. The Glu2.53(90)Arg and Trp6.48(280)Arg mutants had decreased affinity for GnRH. Models showed that congenital Glu2.53(90)Lys and Glu2.53(90)Asp mutations disrupt interactions with Ser3.35(124) and Trp6.48(280) respectively, whereas the Glu2.53(90)Arg and Trp6.48(280)Arg mutations preserve intramolecular contacts, but increase distance between the transmembrane helices. Our results show that disruption of interhelical contacts that are conserved in G protein-coupled receptors accounts for the effects of some disease-associated GnRH receptor mutations.