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SUMMARY: Metabotropic glutamate receptor 1α (mGluR1α), a member of the family C G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), is emerging as a potential drug target for various disorders including chronic neuronal degenerative diseases. In addition to being activated by glutamate, mGluR1α is also modulated by extracellular Ca2+. However, the underlying mechanism is unknown. Moreover, it has long been challenging to develop receptor-specific agonists due to homologies within the mGluR family, and the Ca2+-binding site(s) on mGluR1α may provide an opportunity for receptor-selective targeting by therapeutics. In the present study, we show that our previously predicted Ca2+-binding site in the hinge region of mGluR1α is adjacent to the site where orthosteric agonists and antagonists bind on the extracellular domain of the receptor. Moreover, we have found that extracellular Ca2+ enhances mGluR1α-mediated intracellular Ca2+ responses evoked by the orthosteric agonist, L-quisqualate. Conversely, extracellular Ca2+ diminishes the inhibitory effect of the mGluR1α orthosteric antagonist, (s)-MCPG. In addition, selective positive (Ro 67-4853) and negative (CPCCOEt) allosteric modulators of mGluR1α potentiate and inhibit responses to extracellular Ca2+, respectively, in a manner similar to their effects on the response of mGluR1α to glutamate. Mutations at residues predicted to be involved in Ca2+-binding, including E325I, have significant effects on the modulation of responses to the orthosteric agonist, L-quisqualate, and the allosteric modulator Ro 67-4853 by extracellular Ca2+. These studies reveal that binding of extracellular Ca2+ to the predicted Ca2+-binding site in the ECD of mGluR1α modulates not only glutamate-evoked signaling but also the actions of both orthosteric ligands and allosteric modulators on mGluR1α.


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J Biol Chem, 289 (3), 1649-61. doi:

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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