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Br J Pharmacol. 2003 Mar;138(5):775-86.

Functional coupling of the human dopamine D2 receptor with G alpha i1, G alpha i2, G alpha i3 and G alpha o G proteins: evidence for agonist regulation of G protein selectivity.

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School of Animal and Microbial Sciences, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AJ.


(1) The human dopamine D(2long) (D(2L)) receptor was expressed with four different G proteins in Sf9 cells using the baculovirus expression system. When co-expressed with G(i)/G(o) G proteins (G(i1)alpha, G(i2)alpha, G(i3)alpha, or G(o)alpha, plus Gbeta(1) and Ggamma(2)), the receptor displayed a high-affinity binding site for the agonists (dopamine and NPA), which was sensitive to GTP (100 micro M), demonstrating interaction between the receptor and the different G proteins. (2) The receptor to G protein ratio (R : G ratio) was evaluated using [(3)H]-spiperone saturation binding (R) and [(35)S]-GTPgammaS saturation binding (G). R : G ratios of 1 : 12, 1 : 3, 1 : 14 and 1 : 5 were found for G(i1), G(i2), G(i3), and G(o) preparations, respectively. However, when R : G ratios of 1 : 2 and 1 : 12 were compared for G(i2) and G(o), no difference was found for the stimulation of [(35)S]-GTPgammaS binding. (3) Several agonists were tested for their ability to stimulate [(35)S]-GTPgammaS binding to membranes co-expressing the receptor and various G proteins. All the compounds tested showed agonist activity in preparations expressing G(i3) and G(o). However, for G(i2) and G(i1) preparations, compounds such as S-(-)-3-PPP and p-tyramine were unable to stimulate [(35)S]-GTPgammaS binding. (4) Most of the compounds showed higher relative efficacies (compared to dopamine) and higher potencies in the preparation expressing G(o). Comparison of the effects of different agonists in the different preparations showed that each agonist differentially activates the four G proteins. (5) We conclude that the degree of selectivity of G protein activation by the D(2L) receptor can depend on the conformation of the receptor stabilised by an agonist.

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