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J Biochem. 2004 Apr;135(4):541-6.

Characterization of cell lines stably expressing human normal or mutated EGFP-tagged MC4R.

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  • 1INSERM U418-INRA UMR 1245 and IFR 62, Hôpital Debrousse and Claude Bernard University, Lyon, France.


The melanocortin receptor type 4 (MC4-R) is involved in food intake and represents a potential target for the treatment of some forms of obesity. The fluorescent protein EGFP was fused to the wild-type or mutated coding sequence of the human MC4-R. After transfection in HEK 293, clones stably expressing hMC4-R-EGFP were selected. Wild-type chimeric hMC4-R was well addressed to the cell membrane as demonstrated using confocal microscopy and displayed the same pharmacological characteristics as native hMC4R. NDP-alpha MSH induced a time-dependent internalization of MC4-R that was partially prevented by AgRP. The two mutated chimeric receptors studied here (CTCT-deleted and C271A) showed a high alteration of their response to ligand and were retained inside the cells. In conclusion, we have developed a model of clones stably expressing EGFP-tagged-hMC4-R. This is the only such model available to date and it provides a useful tool to follow the trafficking of MC4-R inside living cells.

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