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J Biol Chem. 2001 May 25;276(21):18345-51. Epub 2001 Feb 13.

Metabotropic glutamate 1alpha and adenosine A1 receptors assemble into functionally interacting complexes.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.


Recently, evidence has emerged that seven transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors may be present as homo- and heteromers in the plasma membrane. Here we describe a new molecular and functional interaction between two functionally unrelated types of G protein-coupled receptors, namely the metabotropic glutamate type 1alpha (mGlu(1alpha) receptor) and the adenosine A1 receptors in cerebellum, primary cortical neurons, and heterologous transfected cells. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed a close and subtype-specific interaction between mGlu(1alpha) and A1 receptors in both rat cerebellar synaptosomes and co-transfected HEK-293 cells. By using transiently transfected HEK-293 cells a synergy between mGlu(1alpha) and A1 receptors in receptor-evoked [Ca(2+)](i) signaling has been shown. In primary cultures of cortical neurons we observed a high degree of co-localization of the two receptors, and excitotoxicity experiments in these cultures also indicate that mGlu(1alpha) and A1 receptors are functionally related. Our results provide a molecular basis for adenosine/glutamate receptors cross-talk and open new perspectives for the development of novel agents to treat neuropsychiatric disorders in which abnormal glutamatergic neurotransmission is involved.

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