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J Biol Chem. 1993 Feb 25;268(6):3873-9.

Molecular characterization and regulation of the human endothelin receptors.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406.


Endothelin receptors (ETRs) are distributed throughout a variety of tissues. Two human cDNAs were identified which encode distinct ETR proteins. One cDNA encoded a 427-amino acid protein that shared 91% identity to rat ETAR. The second cDNA encoded a 442-amino acid protein that was 88% identical to rat ETBR. Ligand binding studies of the cloned receptors expressed in COS cells confirmed that they were pharmacologically ETAR and ETBR subtypes; although the selective antagonist BQ123 showed a potency similar to ET-3 in displacing 125I-ET-1 binding to ETAR. This observation contrasts with rat ETAR pharmacology where BQ123 has a 100-fold higher affinity than ET3. Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing the human ETAR displayed equal potencies in displacing 125I-ET-1 binding, which indicates that rat and human ETAR are pharmacologically distinct. Electrophysiological studies of both ETRs expressed in Xenopus oocytes revealed that they are functional. Northern analysis indicated that the two ETRs are differentially expressed in many tissues. Marmosets maintained on a high fat/high cholesterol diet exhibited 3-fold increase in ETBR mRNA levels with little change in ETAR mRNA levels. Availability of cDNA clones for ETR subtypes can open avenues for future analysis of their role in pathophysiology of various diseases.

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