Allosteric interaction between the amino terminal domain and the ligand binding domain of NR2A

F. Zheng, K. Erreger, C. M. Low, T. Banke, C. J. Lee, P. J. Conn, S. F. Traynelis

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Abstract

Fast desensitization is an important regulatory mechanism of neuronal NMDA receptor function. Only recombinant NMDA receptors composed of NR1/NR2A exhibit a fast component of desensitization similar to neuronal NMDA receptors. Here we report that the fast desensitization of NR1/NR2A receptors is caused by ambient zinc, and that a positive allosteric interaction occurs between the extracellular zinc-binding site located in the amino terminal domain and the glutamate-binding domain of NR2A. The relaxation of macroscopic currents reflects a shift to a new equilibrium due to increased zinc affinity after binding of glutamate. We also show a similar interaction between the ifenprodil binding site and the glutamate binding site of NR1/NR2B receptors. These data raise the possibility that there is an allosteric interaction between the amino terminal domain and the ligand-binding domain of other glutamate receptors. Our findings may provide insight into how zinc and other extracellular modulators regulate NMDA receptor function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-901
Number of pages8
JournalNature Neuroscience
Volume4
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Sep 12

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Zheng, F., Erreger, K., Low, C. M., Banke, T., Lee, C. J., Conn, P. J., & Traynelis, S. F. (2001). Allosteric interaction between the amino terminal domain and the ligand binding domain of NR2A. Nature Neuroscience, 4(9), 894-901. https://doi.org/10.1038/nn0901-894