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J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 2007 Mar-Apr;55(2):144-50. Epub 2006 May 9.

Whole spectrum analysis of ligand efficacy at constitutively active human wild-type and S267K 5-HT6 receptors in HEK-293F cells.

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Laboratorios Dr. Esteve S.A., Av. Mare de Déu de Montserrat 221, 08041 Barcelona, Spain.



Modulation of constitutive activity by the recombinant wild-type human 5-HT6 receptor was investigated with a series of 5-HT6 receptor ligands by monitoring the cAMP signalling pathway. The impact of the mutation S267K near the B(261)BXXB(265) CIII-loop motif was analyzed on the magnitude of constitutive receptor activity as previously conflicting results have been reported.


The wild-type 5-HT6 receptor plasmid was obtained by PCR and the mutant S267K5-HT6 receptor was constructed by site-directed mutagenesis and stably transfected in HEK-293F cells by electroporation. The cAMP signalling pathway was monitored as a functional read-out to investigate ligands' responses using homogeneous time resolved fluorescence.


Constitutive activity was present both at wild-type and mutant S267K 5-HT6 receptors. Negative efficacy (E(max), % versus basal) as observed at nanomolar concentrations with SB-271046 was larger for mutant (-92+/-1%) than wild-type 5-HT6 receptor (-45+/-1%). Ro 04-6790 also demonstrated negative efficacy at the wild-type 5-HT6 receptor with a magnitude similar to SB-271046 but with a 36-fold lower potency. MS-245 demonstrated at nanomolar concentrations intermediate negative efficacy; -48+/-3% and -16+/-2% at mutant and wild-type 5-HT6 receptor, respectively. The 5-HT-mediated cAMP response was blocked by SB-271046, MS-245 and Ro 04-6790 to their respective level of negative efficacy with pKB values fitting with their binding pK(i) values. E-6801 was a highly potent (pEC50: 10.17 to 10.19) and efficacious agonist (+98 to +102% versus 5-HT) at both wild-type and mutant 5-HT6 receptors.


The recombinant wild-type human 5-HT6 receptor is constitutively active in HEK-293F cells and displays a high resolution to monitor efficacy properties of 5-HT6 receptor ligands. The resolution capacity to differentiate between efficacy properties of 5-HT6 receptor ligands, in particular for negative efficacy, can be further enhanced by monitoring the mutant S267K 5-HT6 receptor.

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