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J Biol Chem. 1996 Oct 18;271(42):26013-7.

Functional analysis of the human D2 dopamine receptor missense variants.

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  • 1Unit on Molecular Clinical Investigation, Clinical Neurogenetics Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The human dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) has three polymorphic variants that predict the amino acid substitutions Val96 --> Ala, Pro310 --> Ser, and Ser311 --> Cys in the receptor protein. We have investigated the ligand binding and signal transduction properties of these human D2 receptor variants by stably expressing them in cultured mammalian cells. The Cys311 and Ser310 variants of the human D2 receptor, which involve substitutions located in the third cytoplasmic loop, were markedly less effective in inhibiting cAMP synthesis than the most prevalent form (Pro310, Ser311). Despite this difference, the Cys311 and Ser310 variants couple to G proteins in CHO-K1 (Chinese hamster ovary) cells. The impairment of the Cys311 and Ser310 variants to inhibit cAMP levels thus appears to result from a reduced ability of those variant receptors to activate the appropriate Gi-like protein. The demonstration of substantial functional differences between DRD2 gene variants found in the human population might have important pharmacological implications given the widespread use of D2 receptor blocking drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.

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