The Non-competitive Antagonists 2-Methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine and 7-Hydroxyiminocyclopropan[b]chromen-1a-carboxylic Acid Ethyl Ester Interact with Overlapping Binding Pockets in the Transmembrane Region of Group I Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors
We have investigated the mechanism of inhibition and site of action of the novel human metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (hmGluR5) antagonist 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine (MPEP), which is structurally unrelated to classical metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) ligands. Schild analysis indicated that MPEP acts in a non-competitive manner. MPEP also inhibited to a large extent constitutive receptor activity in cells transiently overexpressing rat mGluR5, suggesting that MPEP acts as an inverse agonist. To investigate the molecular determinants that govern selective ligand binding, a mutagenesis study was performed using chimeras and single amino acid substitutions of hmGluR1 and hmGluR5. The mutants were tested for binding of the novel mGluR5 radioligand [(3)H]2-methyl-6-(3-methoxyphenyl)ethynyl pyridine (M-MPEP), a close analog of MPEP. Replacement of Ala-810 in transmembrane (TM) VII or Pro-655 and Ser-658 in TMIII with the homologous residues of hmGluR1 abolished radioligand binding. In contrast, the reciprocal hmGluR1 mutant bearing these three residues of hmGluR5 showed high affinity for [(3)H]M-MPEP. Radioligand binding to these mutants was also inhibited by 7-hydroxyiminocyclopropan[b]chromen-1a-carboxylic acid ethyl ester (CPCCOEt), a structurally unrelated non-competitive mGluR1 antagonist previously shown to interact with residues Thr-815 and Ala-818 in TMVII of hmGluR1. These results indicate that MPEP and CPCCOEt bind to overlapping binding pockets in the TM region of group I mGluRs but interact with different non-conserved residues.