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J Neurochem. 2000 Mar;74(3):1068-78.

Immunoprecipitation of high-affinity, guanine nucleotide-sensitive, solubilized mu-opioid receptors from rat brain: coimmunoprecipitation of the G proteins G(alpha o), G(alpha i1), and G(alpha i3).

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Department of Pharmacology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799, USA.


Antibodies directed against the C-terminal and the N-terminal regions of the mu-opioid receptor were generated to identify the G proteins that coimmunoprecipitate with the mu receptor. Two fusion proteins were constructed: One contained the 50 C-terminal amino acids of the mu receptor, and the other contained 61 amino acids near the N terminus of the receptor. Antisera directed against both fusion proteins were capable of immunoprecipitating approximately 70% of solubilized rat brain mu receptors as determined by [3H][D-Ala2,N-Me-Phe4,Gly-ol5]-enkephalin ([3H]DAMGO) saturation binding. The material immunoprecipitated with both of the antisera was recognized as a broad band with a molecular mass between 60 and 75 kDa when screened in a western blot. Guanosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) (GTPgammaS) had an EC50 of 0.4 nM in diminishing [3H]DAMGO binding to the immunoprecipitated pellet. The ratio of G proteins to mu receptors in the immunoprecipitated material was 1:1. When the material immunoprecipitated with affinity-purified antibody was screened for the presence of G protein a subunits, it was determined that G(alpha)o, G(alpha)i1, G(alpha)i3, and to a lesser extent G(alpha)i2, but not G(alpha)s or G(alpha)q11, were coimmunoprecipitated with the mu receptor. Inclusion of GTPgammaS during the immunoprecipitation process abolished the coimmunoprecipitation of G proteins.

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