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Life Sci. 2002 Mar 22;70(18):2113-24.

Differences in the subcellular localization of alpha1-adrenoceptor subtypes can affect the subtype selectivity of drugs in a study with the fluorescent ligand BODIPY FL-prazosin.

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Department of Molecular, Cell Pharmacology, National Children's Medical Research Center, Tokyo, Japan.


G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) subtypes are differentially distributed in the cell; however, it remains unclear how this affects the subtype selectivity of particular drugs. In the present study, we used flow cytometry analysis with the fluorescent ligand, BODIPY FL-prazosin, to study the relationship between the subcellular distribution of subtype receptors and the subtype-selective character of ligands using alpha1a and alpha1b-adrenoceptors (ARs). Alpha1a-ARs predominantly localize inside the cell, while alpha1b-ARs on the cell surface. Flow cytometry analysis and confocal laser-scanning micrographs of living cells showed that BODIPY FL-prazosin can label not only alpha1-ARs on the cell surface, but also those localized inside the cell. Furthermore, flow cytometry analysis of alpha1A-AR-selective drug, KMD-3213, and alpha1B-AR-selective drug, CEC, revealed that the major determinant of the subtype selectivity of each drug is different. The alpha1A-AR selectivity of KMD-3213 can be explained by its much higher affinity for alpha1a-AR than alpha1b-AR (affinity-dependent selectivity), while the alpha1B-AR selectivity of the hydrophilic alkylating agent CEC is due to preferential inactivation of alpha1-ARs on the cell surface (receptor localization-dependent selectivity). This study illustrates that factors in addition to the affinity of the drug for the receptor, such as subcellular localization of the receptor, should be taken into account in assessing the subtype selectivity of a drug.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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