Characterization of the molecular motions of constitutively active G protein-coupled receptors for parathyroid hormone

Biophys Chem. 2001 Feb 15;89(2-3):119-28. doi: 10.1016/s0301-4622(00)00222-2.


The molecular mechanism of constitutive activity of the G protein-coupled receptor for human parathyroid hormone (PTH1) has been examined by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The single point mutations H223R, T410P, and I458R, of the PTH1 receptor result in ligand-independent receptor activation. Extensive MD simulations indicate that each of the mutations, through different mechanisms, lead to very similar conformational changes of the third intracellular loop. The structural changes, centered on K405 in the C-terminus of the third intracellular loop, can be traced back to the single-point mutations by calculation of the forces and torques responsible for the collective motions of the receptor. This analysis indicates a direct correlation between the conformational preferences of the cytoplasmic loop and the mutations in different locations of the receptor: TM2 (H223R), TM6 (T410P), and TM7 (1458R). Given the pivotal role of the third intracellular loop of PTH1 in coupling to the G proteins, the structural changes induced by these single-point mutations may be responsible for the ligand-free activation of the receptor. These results coupled with the high-resolution structure of the third cytoplasmic loop of PTH1, previously determined in our laboratory, provide unique insight into the mechanism of ligand free activation of the PTH1 receptor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular
  • Point Mutation
  • Protein Conformation
  • Receptors, Parathyroid Hormone / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Parathyroid Hormone / genetics
  • Receptors, Parathyroid Hormone / metabolism


  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Parathyroid Hormone
  • GTP-Binding Proteins