Structural domains of the human GABAA receptor β3 subunit involved in the actions of pentobarbital
- 1This study was conducted to search for the residues of the β3 subunit which affect pentobarbital action on the γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor. Three chimeras were constructed by joining the GABAA receptor β3 subunit to the ρ1 subunit. For each chimera, the N-terminal sequence was derived from the β3 subunit and the C-terminal sequence from the ρ1 subunit, with junctions located between the membrane-spanning regions M2 and M3, in the middle of M2, or in M1, respectively.
- 2In receptors obtained by the coexpression of α1 with the chimeric subunits, in contrast with those obtained by the coexpression of α1 and β3, pentobarbital exhibited lower potentiation of GABA-evoked responses, and in the direct gating of Cl− currents, an increase in the EC50 together with a marked decrease in the relative maximal efficacy compared with that of GABA.
- 3Estimates of the channel opening probability through variance analysis and single-channel recordings of one chimeric subunit showed that the reduced relative efficacy for gating largely resulted from an increase in gating by GABA, with little change in efficacy of pentobarbital.
- 4A fit of the time course of the response by the predictions of a class of reaction schemes is consistent with the conclusion that the change in the concentration dependence of activation by pentobarbital is due to a change in pentobarbital affinity for the receptor. Therefore, the data suggest that residues of the β3 subunit involved in pentobarbital binding to GABAA receptors are located downstream from the middle of the M2 region.