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Cell. 1990 Nov 30;63(5):941-8.

Guanylyl cyclase is a heat-stable enterotoxin receptor.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee 37232.


Plasma membrane forms of guanylyl cyclase have been shown to function as natriuretic peptide receptors. We describe a new clone (GC-C) encoding a guanylyl cyclase receptor for heat-stable enterotoxin. GC-C encodes a protein containing an extracellular amino acid sequence divergent from that of previously cloned guanylyl cyclases; however, the protein retains the intracellular protein kinase-like and cyclase catalytic domains. Expression of GC-C in COS-7 cells results in high guanylyl cyclase activity. In addition, heat-stable enterotoxin from E. coli, but not natriuretic peptides, causes marked elevations of cyclic GMP and is specifically bound by cells transfected with GC-C. The enterotoxin fails to elevate cyclic GMP in nontransfected cells or in cells transfected with the natriuretic peptide/guanylyl cyclase receptors. These results show that a heat-stable enterotoxin receptor responsible for acute diarrhea is a plasma membrane form of guanylyl cyclase.

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