Research Articles

Chimeric alpha 2-,beta 2-adrenergic receptors: delineation of domains involved in effector coupling and ligand binding specificity

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Science  03 Jun 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4857, pp. 1310-1316
DOI: 10.1126/science.2836950


The alpha 2 and beta 2 adrenergic receptors, both of which are activated by epinephrine, but which can be differentiated by selective drugs, have opposite effects (inhibitory and stimulatory) on the adenylyl cyclase system. The two receptors are homologous with each other, rhodopsin, and other receptors coupled to guanine nucleotide regulatory proteins and they contain seven hydrophobic domains, which may represent transmembrane spanning segments. The function of specific structural domains of these receptors was determined after construction and expression of a series of chimeric alpha 2-,beta 2-adrenergic receptor genes. The specificity for coupling to the stimulatory guanine nucleotide regulatory protein lies within a region extending from the amino terminus of the fifth hydrophobic domain to the carboxyl terminus of the sixth. Major determinants of alpha 2- and beta 2-adrenergic receptor agonist and antagonist ligand binding specificity are contained within the seventh membrane spanning domain. Chimeric receptors should prove useful for elucidating the structural basis of receptor function.