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Biochemistry. 2000 May 9;39(18):5492-9.

Role for the C-terminus in agonist-induced mu opioid receptor phosphorylation and desensitization.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


Determining which domains and amino acid residues of the mu opioid receptor are phosphorylated is critical for understanding the mechanism of mu opioid receptor phosphorylation. The role of the C-terminus of the receptor was investigated by examining the C-terminally truncated or point-mutated mu opioid receptors in receptor phosphorylation and desensitization. Both wild-type and mutated receptors were stably expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. The receptor expression was confirmed by receptor radioligand binding and immunoblottting. After exposure to 5 microM of DAMGO, phosphorylation of the C-terminally truncated receptor and the mutant receptor T394A was reduced to 40 and 10% of that of the wild-type receptor, respectively. Mutation effects on agonist-induced desensitization were studied using adenylyl cyclase inhibition assays. The C-terminally truncated receptor and mutant receptor T394A both showed complete loss of DAMGO-induced desensitization, while the mutant T/S-7A receptor only lost part of its ability to desensitize. Taken together, these results suggest that the C-terminus of the mu opioid receptor participates in receptor phosphorylation and desensitization with threonine 394, a crucial residue for both features. DAMGO-induced mu opioid receptor phosphorylation and desensitization are associated and appear to involve both the mu opioid receptor C-terminus and other domains of the receptor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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