CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) is one of 19 members of the chemokine receptor subfamily of human class A G-protein-coupled receptors. CCR2 is expressed on monocytes, immature dendritic cells, and T-cell subpopulations, and mediates their migration towards endogenous CC chemokine ligands such as CCL2 (ref. 1). CCR2 and its ligands are implicated in numerous inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases2 including atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, neuropathic pain, and diabetic nephropathy, as well as cancer3. These disease associations have motivated numerous preclinical studies and clinical trials4 (see http://www.clinicaltrials.gov) in search of therapies that target the CCR2–chemokine axis. To aid drug discovery efforts5, here we solve a structure of CCR2 in a ternary complex with an orthosteric (BMS-681 (ref. 6)) and allosteric (CCR2-RA-[R]7) antagonist. BMS-681 inhibits chemokine binding by occupying the orthosteric pocket of the receptor in a previously unseen binding mode. CCR2-RA-[R] binds in a novel, highly druggable pocket that is the most intracellular allosteric site observed in class A G-protein-coupled receptors so far; this site spatially overlaps the G-protein-binding site in homologous receptors. CCR2-RA-[R] inhibits CCR2 non-competitively by blocking activation-associated conformational changes and formation of the G-protein-binding interface. The conformational signature of the conserved microswitch residues observed in double-antagonist-bound CCR2 resembles the most inactive G-protein-coupled receptor structures solved so far. Like other protein–protein interactions, receptor–chemokine complexes are considered challenging therapeutic targets for small molecules, and the present structure suggests diverse pocket epitopes that can be exploited to overcome obstacles in drug design.
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Protein Data Bank
We thank A. Ishchenko and H. Zhang for help with X-ray data collection, C. Wang and H. X. Wu for suggestions on construct design, F. Li for help with data processing, and M. Galella for assistance with BMS compound data and statistics. We thank C. Ogata, R. Sanishvili, N. Venugopalan, M. Becker, and S. Corcoran at beamline 23ID at GM/CA CAT Advanced Photon Source. Funding for this research was provided by National Institutes of Health grants R01 GM071872, U54 GM094618, R01 AI118985, R21 AI121918, and R21 AI122211. GM/CA@APS has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Cancer Institute (ACB-12002) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (AGM-12006). This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under contract number DE-AC02-06CH11357.
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