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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Agonist-induced down-regulation of muscarinic cholinergic and alpha 2-adrenergic receptors after inactivation of Ni by pertussis toxin.

Desensitization of the responsiveness to hormones or drugs is often mediated by down-regulation of receptors. The stimulatory coupling protein (Ns) of adenylate cyclase has been shown to be involved in the down-regulation of stimulatory beta-adrenergic receptors. Whether the inhibitory coupling protein (Ni) is involved in the down-regulation of receptors that inhibit adenylate cyclase is not known. We wished to determine whether down-regulation of inhibitory muscarinic cholinergic and alpha 2-adrenergic receptors occurs in neuroblastoma X glioma hybrid cells after the ability of Ni to inhibit adenylate cyclase is inactivated by pertussis toxin. After treatment of cells with pertussis toxin, the ability of carbachol or epinephrine to inhibit prostaglandin E1-stimulated cAMP accumulation in intact cells was either completely prevented or markedly attenuated, respectively, indicating functional inactivation of Ni. Furthermore, pertussis toxin treatment of membrane fragments from these cells did not result in labeling of the 41,000-dalton alpha-subunit of Ni with ADP ribose from [32P] NAD, indicating maximal ADP ribosylation of Ni by prior treatment of cells with pertussis toxin. Carbachol treatment of cells resulted in down-regulation of muscarinic cholinergic receptors to 45.7 +/- 12.5% and 52.5 +/- 13.5% of control values for toxin-untreated and toxin-treated cells, respectively. Epinephrine treatment of cells caused homologous desensitization of alpha 2-receptor-mediated inhibition of cAMP accumulation and down-regulation of alpha 2-adrenergic receptors to 42.9 +/- 11.4% and 53.2 +/- 5.3% of control values for toxin-untreated and toxin-treated cells, respectively. Down-regulation of muscarinic cholinergic receptors by carbachol and of alpha 2-adrenergic receptors by epinephrine was not due to the effect of retained agonist and was agonist specific, since it could be prevented by the antagonists atropine and yohimbine, respectively. We conclude that agonist-mediated down-regulation of both the muscarinic cholinergic receptor and the alpha 2-adrenergic receptor does not require functional inhibitory coupling.[1]


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