Assessing structure, function and druggability of major inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyrate symporter subtypes.

TitleAssessing structure, function and druggability of major inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyrate symporter subtypes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsKardos, J., A. Palló, A. Bencsura, and A. Simon
JournalCurr Med Chem
Date Published2010
KeywordsBacterial Proteins, GABA Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins, GABA Uptake Inhibitors, Humans, Protein Binding, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Structural Homology, Protein, Substrate Specificity, Zinc

Ambient level of gamma -aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain is mediated by neuronal and glial GABA transporters (GATs), members of the sodium and chloride ion-dependent solute carrier family. The neuronal GABA transporter subtype (GAT-1) has already been proven to be the target for the antiepileptic drug Tiagabine. However, druggability of glial GAT-2 and GAT-3 is yet to be established. Recent advances in structure elucidation of a bacterial orthologue leucine transporter in complex with different substrates substantiate homology modeling of human GATs (hGATs). These modeling studies can provide mechanistic clues for structure-based prediction of the potential of medicinal chemistry campaigns. A recently identified characteristic structural feature of the occluded conformation of hGATs is that similar extra- and intracellular gates are formed by middle-broken transmembrane helices TM1 and TM6. Binding crevice formed by unwound segments of broken helices facilitates symport of GABA with Na+ ion via fitting of GABA to TM1-bound Na+ closely inside. Favored accommodation of substrate inhibitors with high docking score predicts efficient inhibition of the neuronal hGAT-1 if the TM1-TM8 binding prerequisite for GABA was used. Docking, molecular dynamics and transport data indicate, that amino acids participating in substrate binding of the neuronal hGAT-1 and the glial hGAT-2 and hGAT-3 subtypes are different. By contrast, substrate binding crevices of hGAT-2 and hGAT-3 cannot be distinguished, avoiding sensible prediction of efficient selective substrate inhibitors. Glial subtypes might be specifically distinguished by interfering Zn2+ binding in the second extracellular loop of hGAT-3. Formation of the unique ring-like Na+-GABA complex in the occluded binding crevices anticipates family member symporters exploring chemiosmotic energy via reversible chemical coupling of Na+ ion.

Alternate JournalCurr. Med. Chem.
PubMed ID20423300