Mapping the Orthosteric Binding Site of the Human 5-HT Receptor Using Photo-crosslinking Antagonists

Thomas Jack, Michele Leuenberger, Marc-David Ruepp, Sanjeev Kumar V Vernekar, Andrew J Thompson, Sophie Braga-Lagache, Manfred Heller, Martin Lochner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The serotonin-gated 5-HT3 receptor is a ligand-gated ion channel. Its location at the synapse in the central and peripheral nervous system have rendered it a prime pharmacological target, e.g. for antiemetic drugs that bind with high affinity to the neurotransmitter binding site and prevent the opening of the channel. Advances in structural biology techniques has led to a surge of disclosed three-dimensional receptor structures, however, solving ligand-bound high-resolution 5-HT3 receptor structures has not been achieved to date. Ligand binding poses in the orthosteric binding site have been largely predicted from mutagenesis and docking studies. We report the synthesis of a series of photo-crosslinking compounds whose structures are based on the clinically used antiemetic drug granisetron (Kytril®). These displaced [3H]granisetron from the orthosteric binding site with low nanomolar affinities and showed specific photo-crosslinking with the human 5-HT3 receptor. Detailed analysis by protein-MS/MS identified a residue (Met-228) near the tip of binding loop C as the covalent modification site.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAcs chemical neuroscience
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Aug 2018


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