Enhancement of muscimol binding and gating by allosteric modulators of the GABAA receptor: Relating occupancy to state functions

Gustav Akk, Allison L. Germann, Yusuke Sugasawa, Spencer R. Pierce, Alex S. Evers, Joe Henry Steinbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Muscimol is a psychoactive isoxazole derived from the mushroom Amanita muscaria and a potent orthosteric agonist of the GABAA receptor. The binding of [3H]muscimol has been used to evaluate the distribution of GABAA receptors in the brain, and studies of modulation of [3H]muscimol binding by allosteric GABAergic modulators such as barbiturates and steroid anesthetics have provided insight into the modes of action of these drugs on the GABAA receptor. It has, however, not been feasible to directly apply interaction parameters derived from functional studies to describe the binding of muscimol to the receptor. Here, we employed the Monod-Wyman-Changeux concerted transition model to analyze muscimol binding isotherms. We show that the binding isotherms from recombinant a1b3 GABAA receptors can be qualitatively predicted using electrophysiological data pertaining to properties of receptor activation and desensitization in the presence of muscimol. The model predicts enhancement of [3H]muscimol binding in the presence of the steroids allopregnanolone and pregnenolone sulfate, although the steroids interact with distinct sites and either enhance (allopregnanolone) or reduce (pregnenolone sulfate) receptor function. We infer that the concerted transition model can be used to link radioligand binding and electrophysiological data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-313
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Volume98
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020

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