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Mol Pharmacol. 1993 Sep;44(3):524-32.

Molecular cloning and functional expression of a sheep A3 adenosine receptor with widespread tissue distribution.

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


Using the polymerase chain reaction, an A3 adenosine receptor has been cloned from the hypophysial par tuberalis of sheep. The clone encodes a 317-amino acid protein that is 72% identical to the rat A3 adenosine receptor. In contrast to rat, where abundant A3 mRNA transcript is found primarily in testis, the sheep transcript is most abundant in lung, spleen, and pineal gland and is present in moderate levels in brain, kidney, and testis. The agonist N6-amino[125I]iodobenzyladenosine binds with high affinity (Kd congruent to 6 nm) and specificity to recombinant A3 adenosine receptors expressed transiently in COS-1 cells or stably in CHO K1 cells. The potency order of agonists is N6-aminoiodobenzyladenosine > N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine > or = (R)-phenylisopropyladenosine >> cyclopentyladenosine. Little or no binding of purine nucleotides was detected. The potency order of antagonists is 3-(3-iodo-4-aminobenzyl)-8-(4-oxyacetate)phenyl-1- propylxanthine (I-ABOPX) (Ki = 3 nM) > 1,3-dipropyl-8-(4-acrylate)phenylxanthine (BW-A1433) > 1,3-dipropyl-8-sulfophenylxanthine = xanthine amine cogener >> 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine. Enprofylline does not bind. These data indicate that, in contrast to A1 adenosine receptors, A3 adenosine receptors preferentially bind ligands with aryl rings in the N6-position of adenine and in the C8-position of xanthine. Among antagonists, the A3 adenosine receptor preferentially binds 8-phenylxanthines with acidic versus basic para-substituents (I-ABOPX > BW-A1433 > 1,3-dipropyl-8-sulfophenylxanthine = xanthine amine cogener). Agonists reduce forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation in Chinese hamster ovary cells stably transfected with recombinant sheep A3 adenosine receptors; the reduction is blocked by BW-A1433 but not by 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine. These data suggest that (i) A3 adenosine receptors display unusual structural diversity for species homologs, (ii) in contrast to rat, sheep A3 adenosine receptors have a broad tissue distribution, and (iii) some xanthines with acidic side chains bind with high affinity to A3 adenosine receptors.

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