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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Feb 16;353(3):582-90. Epub 2006 Dec 18.

NTS2 modulates the intracellular distribution and trafficking of NTS1 via heterodimerization.

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Montreal Neurological Institute, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, Que., Canada H3A 2B4.


Neurotensin (NT) receptors NTS1 and NTS2 are known to display considerable distributional overlap in mammalian central nervous system (CNS). Using co-immunoprecipitation approaches, we demonstrated here that NTS1 forms constitutive heterodimers with NTS2 in transfected COS-7 cells. We also showed that co-expression of NTS2 with NTS1 markedly decreases the cell surface density of NTS1 without affecting ERK1/2 MAPK activity or NT-induced NTS1 internalization. However, radioligand-binding studies indicated that upon prolonged NT stimulation, cell surface NTS1 receptors are more resistant to down-regulation in cells co-expressing NTS1 and NTS2 than in cells expressing NTS1 alone. Taken together, these data suggest that NTS1/NTS2 heterodimerization affects the intracellular distribution and trafficking of NTS1 by making it more similar to that of NTS2 as witnessed in cells expressing NTS2 alone. NTS1/NTS2 heterodimerization might therefore represent an additional mechanism in the regulation of NT-triggered responses mediated by NTS1 and NTS2 receptors.

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