Phospholipid methylation unmasks cryptic beta-adrenergic receptors in rat reticulocytes

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Science  15 Jun 1979:
Vol. 204, Issue 4398, pp. 1205-1207
DOI: 10.1126/science.221977


The effect of phospholipid methylation on the number of beta-adrenergic receptor binding sites was examined in rat reticulocyte membranes. Stimulation of phosphatidylcholine synthesis by the introduction of the methyl donor S-adenosyl-L-methionine into reticulocyte ghosts increased the number of beta-adrenergic receptor sites. The appearance of beta-adrenergic binding sites was dependent on the formation of phosphatidylcholine by the enzyme that converts phosphatidyl-N-monomethylethanolamine from phosphatidylethanolamine. Both the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine and the unmasking of cryptic receptors were time and temperature dependent and did not occur in the presence of the methyl transferase inhibitor, S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine.