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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Sep 23;335(2):277-85.

Cloning and expression of ligand-gated ion-channel receptor L2 in central nervous system.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Brain Science, Kansai Medical University, Moriguchi, Osaka 570-8506, Japan.


An orphan receptor of ligand-gated ion-channel type (L2, also termed ZAC according to the presence of zinc ion for channel activation) was identified by computer-assisted search programs on human genome database. The L2 protein shares partial homology with serotonin receptors 5HT3A and 5HT3B. We have cloned L2 cDNA derived from human caudate nucleus and characterized the exon-intron structure as follows: (1) The L2 protein has four transmembrane regions (M1-M4) and a long cytoplasmic loop between M3 and M4. (2) The sequence is conserved in species including chimpanzee, dog, cow, and opossum. (3) Nine exons form its protein-coding region and especially exon 5 corresponds to a disulfide bond region on the amino-terminal side. Our analysis using multiple tissue cDNA panels revealed that at least two splicing variants of L2 mRNA are present. The cDNA PCR amplification study revealed that L2 mRNA is expressed in tissues including brain, pancreas, liver, lung, heart, kidney, and skeletal muscle while 5HT3A mRNA could be detected in brain, heart, placenta, lung, kidney, pancreas, and skeletal muscle, and 5HT3B mRNA in brain, kidney, and skeletal muscle, suggesting different significance in tissue expression of these receptors. Regional expression of L2 mRNA and protein was examined in brain. The RT-PCR studies confirmed L2 mRNA expression in hippocampus, striatum, amygdala, and thalamus in adult brain. The L2 protein was immunolocalized by using antipeptide antibodies. Immunostained tissue sections revealed that L2-like immunoreactivity was dominantly expressed in the hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells and in the polymorphic layer of the dentate gyrus. We analyzed the expression of L2 protein in HEK293 cells using GFP fusion protein reporter system. Western blots revealed that L2 protein confers sugar chains on the extracellular side. In transfected HEK293 cells, cellular membranes and intracellular puncta were densely labeled with GFP, suggesting selective dispatch to the final destination.

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