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Browsing by Author "Xhaard, Henri"

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  • Urvas, Lauri; Rinne, Maiju; Xhaard, Henri (2020)
    The orexin system is an important regulator of the sleep/wake cycle, and small molecule agonists of the orexin receptors could be beneficial for patients suffering from type 1 narcolepsy. To develop new therapeutics, understanding the interactions between the orexin peptides and their cognate receptors is crucial. The three-dimensional arrangement of the orexin-A peptide complexed to its cognate orexin-2 receptor has so far remained elusive. Here, we identify structurally conserved regions at the predicted binding site and conserved residues of the orexin-A peptide by comparing orexin 2 receptor sequences from nine diverse species as well as with insect allatotropin receptor, a distant relative, and orexin-A sequences from 10 different species. We also visualized the conservation of interaction networks in the orexin 2 receptor binding site by building homology models of the putative orexin receptor of Ciona intestinalis and the allatotropin receptor of Manduca sexta. Structural conservation in the binding site is concentrated on transmembrane segments 2-3-7, in particular the salt bridge between D2.65 and H7.39, and a hydrogen bond network between Q3.32-T2.61-Y7.43. Conservation in orexin-A is concentrated on the C-terminus, while the most conserved individual residues of the peptide are L20, G29, I30, and L31. Applying our conservation results into the analysis of two previously suggested binding modes for orexin-A shows that one of the two demonstrates better mirroring of the conserved residues between the peptide and the binding site. Finally, our data shows that the hydrophobic side of helix 1 of the amphipathic orexin-A should be seriously considered in the analysis of binding modes.