3D modeling of the activated states of constitutively active mutants of rhodopsin

Gregory V. Nikiforovich, Garland R. Marshall

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The activated (R*) states in constitutively active mutants (CAMs) of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are presumably characterized by lower energies than the resting (R) states. If specific configurations of TM helices differing by rotations along the long transmembrane axes possess energies lower than that in the R state for pronounced CAMs, but not for non-CAMs, these particular configurations of TM helices are candidate 3D models for the R* state. The hypothesis was studied in the case of rhodopsin, the only GPCR for which experimentally determined 3D models of the R and R* states are currently available. Indeed, relative energies of the R* state were significantly lower than that of the R state for the rhodopsin mutants G90D/M257Y and E113Q/M257Y (strong CAMs), but not for G90D, E113Q, and M257Y (not CAMs). Next, the developed build-up procedure successfully identified few similar configurations of the TM helical bundle of G90D/M257Y and E113Q/M257Y as possible candidates for the 3D model of the R* state of rhodopsin, all of them being in good agreement with the model suggested by experiment. Since constitutively active mutants are known for many of GPCRs belonging to the large rhodopsin-like family, this approach provides a way for predicting possible 3D structures corresponding to the activated states of the TM regions of many GPCRs for which CAMs have been identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-437
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 23 2006


  • Constitutively active mutants
  • G-protein-coupled receptor
  • Molecular modeling
  • Rhodopsin
  • Transmembrane region


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