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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 May 19;343(4):1191-6. Epub 2006 Mar 20.

FRET-based monitoring of conformational change of the beta2 adrenergic receptor in living cells.

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Bioengineering Laboratory, RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako 351-0198, Japan.


The beta(2) adrenergic receptor (beta(2)AR) is a G protein-coupled receptor that is selective to epinephrine. We demonstrate herein monitoring of an agonist-induced conformational change of beta(2)AR in living cells. The monitoring method is based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer from a cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) to a biarsenical fluorophore, FlAsH, attached to the C-terminus, and the third intracellular loop (ICL3), respectively. Recombinant beta(2)ARs exhibited agonist-induced increases in the FlAsH/CFP emission ratio, indicating that the ICL3 approached the C-terminus upon activation. Since the emission ratio changes were on a time scale of seconds, the conformational change of beta(2)AR in living cells was more rapid than that of purified beta(2)AR measured in vitro. Interestingly, the direction of the emission ratio change of beta(2)AR was opposite to that of the norepinephrine-responsive alpha(2A) adrenergic receptor reported recently. It was suggested that this discrepancy corresponds directly to the diametric biological functions, i.e., the activation or inactivation of adenylyl cyclase.

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