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Endocrinology. 1990 Sep;127(3):1206-14.

Solubilization and purification of melatonin receptors from lizard brain.

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  • 1Laboratory of Developmental Chronobiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114.


Melatonin receptors in lizard brain were identified and characterized using 125I-labeled melatonin ([125I]MEL) after solubilization with the detergent digitonin. Saturation studies of solubilized material revealed a high affinity binding site, with an apparent equilibrium dissociation constant of 181 +/- 45 pM. Binding was reversible and inhibited by melatonin and closely related analogs, but not by serotonin or norepinephrine. Treatment of solubilized material with the non-hydrolyzable GTP analog, guanosine 5'-(3-O-thiotriphosphate) (GTP-gamma-S), significantly reduced receptor affinity. Gel filtration chromatography of solubilized melatonin receptors revealed a high affinity, large (Mr 400,000) peak of specific binding. Pretreatment with GTP-gamma-S before solubilization resulted in elution of a lower affinity, smaller (Mr 150,000) peak of specific binding. To purify solubilized receptors, a novel affinity chromatography resin was developed by coupling 6-hydroxymelatonin with Epoxy-activated Sepharose 6B. Using this resin, melatonin receptors were purified approximately 10,000-fold. Purified material retained the pharmacologic specificity of melatonin receptors. These results show that melatonin receptors that bind ligand after detergent treatment can be solubilized and substantially purified by affinity chromatography.

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