Cryo-EM structure of the serotonin 5-HT 1B receptor coupled to heterotrimeric G o

Nature. 2018 Jun;558(7711):620-623. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0241-9. Epub 2018 Jun 20.


G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) form the largest family of receptors encoded by the human genome (around 800 genes). They transduce signals by coupling to a small number of heterotrimeric G proteins (16 genes encoding different α-subunits). Each human cell contains several GPCRs and G proteins. The structural determinants of coupling of Gs to four different GPCRs have been elucidated1-4, but the molecular details of how the other G-protein classes couple to GPCRs are unknown. Here we present the cryo-electron microscopy structure of the serotonin 5-HT1B receptor (5-HT1BR) bound to the agonist donitriptan and coupled to an engineered Go heterotrimer. In this complex, 5-HT1BR is in an active state; the intracellular domain of the receptor is in a similar conformation to that observed for the β2-adrenoceptor (β2AR) 3 or the adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) 1 in complex with Gs. In contrast to the complexes with Gs, the gap between the receptor and the Gβ-subunit in the Go-5-HT1BR complex precludes molecular contacts, and the interface between the Gα-subunit of Go and the receptor is considerably smaller. These differences are likely to be caused by the differences in the interactions with the C terminus of the Go α-subunit. The molecular variations between the interfaces of Go and Gs in complex with GPCRs may contribute substantially to both the specificity of coupling and the kinetics of signalling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cryoelectron Microscopy*
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gi-Go / chemistry
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gi-Go / metabolism*
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gi-Go / ultrastructure*
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs / chemistry
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nitriles / chemistry
  • Nitriles / metabolism
  • Piperazines / chemistry
  • Piperazines / metabolism
  • Protein Conformation
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1B / chemistry
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1B / metabolism*
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1B / ultrastructure*
  • Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Agonists / chemistry
  • Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Agonists / metabolism
  • Tryptamines / chemistry
  • Tryptamines / metabolism


  • Nitriles
  • Piperazines
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1B
  • Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Agonists
  • Tryptamines
  • donitriptan
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gi-Go
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs