X-ray structures of human ETB receptor provide mechanistic insight into receptor activation and partial activation

Wataru Shihoya, Tamaki Izume, Asuka Inoue, Keitaro Yamashita, Francois Marie Ngako Kadji, Kunio Hirata, Junken Aoki, Tomohiro Nishizawa, Osamu Nureki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Endothelin receptors (ETA and ETB) are class A GPCRs activated by vasoactive peptide endothelins, and are involved in blood pressure regulation. ETB-selective signaling induces vasorelaxation, and thus selective ETB agonists are expected to be utilized for improved anti-tumour drug delivery and neuroprotection. The effectiveness of a highly ETB-selective endothelin analogue, IRL1620, has been investigated in clinical trials. Here, we report the crystal structures of human ETB receptor in complex with ETB-selective agonists, endohelin-3 and IRL1620. The 2.0 Å-resolution structure of the endothelin-3-bound receptor revealed that the disruption of water-mediated interactions between W6.48 and D2.50, which are highly conserved among class A GPCRs, is critical for receptor activation. These hydrogen-bonding interactions are partially preserved in the IRL1620-bound structure, and a functional analysis revealed the partial agonistic effect of IRL1620. The current findings clarify the detailed molecular mechanism for the coupling between the orthosteric pocket and the G-protein binding, and the partial agonistic effect of IRL1620, thus paving the way for the design of improved agonistic drugs targeting ETB.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUnknown Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 11

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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