Cryo-EM structure of the human alpha 5 beta 3 GABA(A) receptor
Nature Communications 28(9):958-961 Sep 2018 

Liu, Si; Xu, Lingyi; Guan, Fenghui; Liu, Yun-Tao; Cui, Yanxiang; Zhang, Qing; Zheng, Xiang; Bi, Guo-Qiang; Zhou, Z. Hong; Zhang, Xiaokang; Ye, Sheng


Serotonin receptors (5-HT3AR) directly regulate gut movement, and drugs that inhibit 5-HT3AR function are used to control emetic reflexes associated with gastrointestinal pathologies and cancer therapies. The 5-HT3AR function involves a finely tuned orchestration of three domain movements that include the ligand-binding domain, the pore domain, and the intracellular domain. Here, we present the structure from the full-length 5-HT3AR channel in the apo-state determined by single-particle cryo-electron microscopy at a nominal resolution of 4.3 Å. In this conformation, the ligand-binding domain adopts a conformation reminiscent of the unliganded state with the pore domain captured in a closed conformation. In comparison to the 5-HT3AR crystal structure, the full-length channel in the apo-conformation adopts a more expanded conformation of all the three domains with a characteristic twist that is implicated in gating.

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