Ligand recognition, unconventional activation, and G protein coupling of the prostaglandin E2 receptor EP2 subtype

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Science Advances  02 Apr 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 14, eabf1268
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf1268


Selective modulation of the heterotrimeric G protein α S subunit–coupled prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) receptor EP2 subtype is a promising therapeutic strategy for osteoporosis, ocular hypertension, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular disorders. Here, we report the cryo–electron microscopy structure of the EP2-Gs complex with its endogenous agonist PGE2 and two synthesized agonists, taprenepag and evatanepag (CP-533536). These structures revealed distinct features of EP2 within the EP receptor family in terms of its unconventional receptor activation and G protein coupling mechanisms, including activation in the absence of a typical W6.48 “toggle switch” and coupling to Gs via helix 8. Moreover, inspection of the agonist-bound EP2 structures uncovered key motifs governing ligand selectivity. Our study provides important knowledge for agonist recognition and activation mechanisms of EP2 and will facilitate the rational design of drugs targeting the PGE2 signaling system.

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