The human VPAC1 receptor: Three-dimensional model and mutagenesis of the N-terminal domain

Laurence Lins, Alain Couvineau, Christiane Rouyer-Fessard, Pascal Nicole, Jean José Maoret, Moussa Benhamed, Robert Brasseur, Annick Thomas, Marc Laburthe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The human VPAC1 receptor for vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide belongs to the class II family of G-protein-coupled receptors with seven transmembrane segments. Like for all class II receptors, the extracellular N-terminal domain of the human VPAC1 receptor plays a predominant role in peptide ligand recognition. To determine the three-dimensional structure of this N-terminal domain (residues 1-144), the Protein Data Bank (PDB) was screened for a homologous protein. A subdomain of yeast lipase B was found to have 27% sequence identity and 50% sequence homology with the N-terminal domain (8-117) of the VPAC1 receptor together with a good alignment of the hydrophobic clusters. A model of the N-terminal domain of VPAC1 receptor was thus constructed by homology. It indicated the presence of a putative signal sequence in the N-terminal extremity. Moreover, residues (Glu36, Trp67, Asp68, Trp73, and Gly109) which were shown to be crucial for VIP binding are gathered around a groove that is essentially negatively charged. New putatively important residues for VIP binding were suggested from the model analysis. Site-directed mutagenesis and stable transfection of mutants in CHO cells indicated that Pro74, Pro87, Phe90, and Trp110 are indeed important for VIP binding and activation of adenylyl cyclase activation. Combination of molecular modeling and directed mutagenesis provided the first partial three-dimensional structure of a VIP-binding domain, constituted of an electronegative groove with an outspanning tryptophan shell at one end, in the N-terminal extracellular region of the human VPAC1 receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10153-10160
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 30 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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