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J Biol Chem. 2003 Aug 1;278(31):29153-63. Epub 2003 May 19.

Functional endothelin receptors are present on nuclei in cardiac ventricular myocytes.

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Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal, Centre de Recherche, 5000 rue Bélanger, Montréal, Québec H1T 1C8, Canada.


Endothelins are thought to act through two specific, plasmalemmal G protein-coupled receptor subtypes, ETAR and ETBR. However, in subfractionated cardiac membranes, ETAR immunoreactivity was detected only in the plasma membrane whereas ETBR immunoreactivity was detected predominantly in membranes of intracellular origin. Confocal microscopy demonstrated the presence of intracellular ETAR and ETBR in ventricular myocytes. ETAR were primarily on plasma membrane (surface membranes and transverse-tubules) and to a lesser extent on the nucleus while ETBR localized primarily to the nuclei. Western blot analysis of nuclei isolated from the heart indicated the presence of endothelin receptors: both ETAR and ETBR copurified with nucleoporin 62, whereas markers of endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi membranes were depleted. Radioligand binding studies revealed that isolated nuclei contain specific [125I]ET-1 binding sites. Specific [125I]ET-1 binding was reduced by 70-80% using the ETAR-selective antagonist BQ610 and 20-30% using the ETBR-specific antagonist BQ788. IRL-1620, an ETBR-specific agonist, also reduced [125I]ET-1 binding. Furthermore, ET-1 and IRL-1620 altered the incorporation of 32P into nuclear proteins and caused a transient increase in nuclear Ca2+ concentration. Hence, cardiac nuclei possess both ETAR and ETBR subtypes, which are functional with respect to ligand binding and are coupled to signaling mechanisms within the nuclear membrane.

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