Interaction of ibogaine with human α3β4-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in different conformational states

Abstract

The interaction of ibogaine and phencyclidine (PCP) with human (h) α3β4-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in different conformational states was determined by functional and structural approaches including, radioligand binding assays, Ca2+ influx detections, and thermodynamic and kinetics measurements. The results established that (a) ibogaine inhibits (±)-epibatidine-induced Ca2+ influx in hα3β4 AChRs with ∼9-fold higher potency than that for PCP, (b) [3H]ibogaine binds to a single site in the hα3β4 AChR ion channel with relatively high affinity (Kd = 0.46 ± 0.06 μM), and ibogaine inhibits [3H]ibogaine binding to the desensitized hα3β4 AChR with slightly higher affinity compared to the resting AChR. This is explained by a slower dissociation rate from the desensitized ion channel compared to the resting ion channel, and (c) PCP inhibits [3H]ibogaine binding to the hα3β4 AChR, suggesting overlapping sites. The experimental results correlate with the docking simulations suggesting that ibogaine and PCP interact with a binding domain located between the serine (position 6′) and valine/phenylalanine (position 13′) rings. This interaction is mediated mainly by van der Waals contacts, which is in agreement with the observed enthalpic contribution determined by non-linear chromatography. However, the calculated entropic contribution also indicates local conformational changes. Collectively our data suggest that ibogaine and PCP bind to overlapping sites located between the serine and valine/phenylalanine rings, to finally block the AChR ion channel, and in the case of ibogaine, to probably maintain the AChR in the desensitized state for longer time.

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