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Science. 1992 Dec 18;258(5090):1952-5.

Cloning of a delta opioid receptor by functional expression.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90024-1759.


Opiate drugs have potent analgesic and addictive properties. These drugs interact with receptors that also mediate the response to endogenous opioid peptide ligands. However, the receptors for opioids have eluded definitive molecular characterization. By transient expression in COS cells and screening with an iodinated analog of the opioid peptide enkephalin, a complementary DNA clone encoding a functional delta opioid receptor has been identified. The sequence shows homology to G protein-coupled receptors, in particular the receptors for somatostatin, angiotensin, and interleukin-8.

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