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GPCRs regulate all aspects of human physiology, and biophysical studies have deepened our understanding of GPCR conformational regulation by different ligands. Yet there is no experimental evidence for how sidechain dynamics control allosteric transitions between GPCR conformations. To address this deficit, we generated samples of a wild-type GPCR (A2AR) that are deuterated apart from 1H/13C NMR probes at isoleucine d1 methyl groups, which facilitated 1H/13C methyl TROSY NMR measurements with opposing ligands. Our data indicate that low [Na+] is required to allow large agonist-induced structural changes in A2AR, and that patterns of sidechain dynamics substantially differ between agonist (NECA) and inverse agonist (ZM241385) bound receptors, with the inverse agonist suppressing fast ps-ns timescale motions at the G protein binding site. Our approach to GPCR NMR creates a framework for exploring how different regions of a receptor respond to different ligands or signaling proteins through modulation of fast ps-ns sidechain dynamics.


This article was originally published in eLife, available at DOI:

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0).



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