Cooperative Dynamics of Intact AMPA and NMDA Glutamate Receptors: Similarities and Subfamily-Specific Differences.

Structure (London, England : 1993)

PubMedID: 26256538

Dutta A, Krieger J, Lee JY, Garcia-Nafria J, Greger IH, Bahar I. Cooperative Dynamics of Intact AMPA and NMDA Glutamate Receptors: Similarities and Subfamily-Specific Differences. Structure. 2015;.
Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) are tetrameric ion channels that mediate excitatory neurotransmission. Recent structures of a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors permit a comparative analysis of whole-receptor dynamics for the first time. Despite substantial differences in the packing of their two-domain extracellular region, the two iGluRs share similar dynamics, elucidated by elastic network models. Motions accessible to either structure enable conformational interconversion, such as compression of the AMPA receptor toward the more tightly packed NMDA receptor conformation, which has been linked to allosteric regulation. Pivoting motions coupled to concerted rotations of the transmembrane ion channel are prominent between dimers of distal N-terminal domains in the loosely packed AMPA receptor. The occurrence and functional relevance of these motions is verified by cross-linking experiments designed to probe the computationally predicted distance changes. Together with the identification of hotspot residues acting as mediators of allosteric communication, our data provide a glimpse into the dynamic spectrum of iGluRs.