The Leu/Val6.51 Side Chain of Cannabinoid Receptors Regulates the Binding Mode of the Alkyl Chain of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol

Claudia Llinas del Torrent, Iu Raïch, Angel Gonzalez, Nil Casajuana-Martin, Jaume Lillo, Joan Biel Rebassa, Carlos Ferreiro-Vera, Verónica Sánchez de Medina, Rafael Franco, Gemma Navarro, Leonardo Pardo*

*Autor correspondiente de este trabajo

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículoInvestigaciónrevisión exhaustiva


(−)-Δ9-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the principal psychoactive constituent of Cannabis, mediates its action by binding to two members of the G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family: the cannabinoid CB1 (CB1R) and CB2 (CB2R) receptors. Molecular dynamics simulations showed that the pentyl chain of THC could adopts an I-shape conformation, filling an intracellular cavity between Phe3.36 and Trp6.48 for initial agonist-induced receptor activation, in CB1R but not in CB2R. This cavity opens to the five-carbon chain of THC by the conformational change of the γ-branched, flexible, Leu6.51 side chain of CB1R, which is not feasible by the β-branched, mode rigid, Val6.51 side chain of CB2R. In agreement with our computational results, THC could not decrease the forskolin-induced cAMP levels in cells expressing mutant CB1RL6.51V receptor but could activate the mutant CB2RV6.51L receptor as efficiently as wild-type CB1R. Additionally, JWH-133, a full CB2R agonist, contains a branched dimethyl moiety in the ligand chain that bridges Phe3.36 and Val6.51 for receptor activation. In this case, the substitution of Val6.51 to Leu in CB2R makes JWH-133 unable to activate CB2RV6.51L. In conclusion, our combined computational and experimental results have shown that the amino acid at position 6.51 is a key additional player in the initial mechanism of activation of GPCRs that recognize signaling molecules derived from lipid species.
Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo18
Páginas (desde-hasta)5927-5935
Número de páginas9
PublicaciónJournal of Chemical Information and Modeling
EstadoPublicada - 25 sept 2023


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