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Mol Pharmacol. 1984 Jan;25(1):29-37.

Biochemical characterization of high-affinity 3H-opioid binding. Further evidence for Mu1 sites.


In saturation studies with [3H]dihydromorphine, unlabeled D-Ala2-D-Leu5-enkephalin (1 nM) inhibited the high-affinity binding component far more potently than the lower-affinity one. Similarly, morphine (1 nM) inhibited the higher-affinity binding of 3H-D-Ala2-D-Leu5-enkephalin to a greater extent than its lower-affinity binding component, consistent with a common high-affinity binding site for opiates and enkephalins. Treatment of tissue with either trypsin (1 microgram/ml) or N-ethylmaleimide (25 microM) effectively eliminated the high-affinity binding component of a series of 3H-opiates and opioid peptides. Competition studies following both treatments were consistent with a common high-affinity binding site. Both treatments also eliminated the ability of low morphine concentrations (less than 1 nM) to inhibit 3H-D-Ala2-D-Leu5-enkephalin binding and of low D-Ala2-D-Leu5-enkephalin concentrations (less than 1 nM) to inhibit [3H]dihydromorphine binding. Protection experiments examining N-ethylmaleimide (25 microM) inhibition of [3H]dihydromorphine binding showed significant protection (p less than 0.002) by both unlabeled D-Ala2-D-Leu5-enkephalin and morphine (both at 1 nM). When studied together, both naloxonazine and N-ethylmaleimide inhibited [3H]dihydromorphine binding to a similar extent. Equally important, tissue previously treated with naloxonazine was far less sensitive to N-ethylmaleimide than was untreated control tissue, consistent with the possibility that both treatments affected the same site. Together, these results support the concept of a common high-affinity binding site for opiates and opioid peptides.

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