Opiate (Enkephalin) receptors of neuroblastoma cells: occurrence in clusters on the cell surface

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Science  30 Nov 1979:
Vol. 206, Issue 4422, pp. 1077-1079
DOI: 10.1126/science.227058


A bioactive, fluorescent derivative of enkephalin, Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-Phe-Leu-Lys-rhodamine, was used to determine the distribution of opiate receptors in living neuroblastoma cells. The receptors appeared in clusters on the cell surface, and no internalization was detected. No specific fluorescence or clusters were observed in the presence of [D-Ala2, Leu5]enkephalin or at 4 degrees C, and the clusters were much reduced under ionic conditions (that is, with 100 millimolars sodium) that specifically decrease the binding of opiate agonists.