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J Biol Chem. 1990 Feb 15;265(5):2828-34.

Cloning and functional analysis of a gene encoding a novel muscarinic acetylcholine receptor expressed in chick heart and brain.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


Previous studies have demonstrated that muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChR) expressed in chick heart are pharmacologically, immunologically, and biochemically distinct from mAChR expressed in mammalian heart. A chicken genomic clone encoding a mAChR whose deduced amino acid sequence is most homologous to the mammalian m4 receptor has been isolated. Northern blot analysis demonstrated that this gene is expressed in both chick heart and brain. The receptor encoded by this gene was expressed in stably transfected Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) and Y1 adrenal carcinoma cells in order to examine its ligand binding and functional properties. The receptor expressed in CHO and Y1 cells exhibits high affinity binding for the muscarinic antagonists quinuclidinyl benzilate and atropine, as well as the M1-selective antagonist pirenzepine and the M2-selective antagonist AF-DX 116. Therefore, when expressed in two heterologous cell lines, the cloned chick m4 receptor exhibits pharmacological properties similar to those previously reported for the chick cardiac receptor. This m4 receptor was able to mediate both agonist-dependent inhibition of forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation and agonist-dependent stimulation of phosphoinositide metabolism when expressed in CHO cells. In contrast, when expressed in Y1 cells, the chick m4 receptor mediated agonist-dependent inhibition of forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation, but not stimulation of phosphoinositide metabolism. Thus, as with the mammalian cardiac (m2) receptor, the functional specificity of the chick cardiac receptor appears to be dependent on the cell type in which it is expressed.

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