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Biochemistry. 2007 Jul 3;46(26):7907-27. Epub 2007 Jun 7.

Recovery of oligomers and cooperativity when monomers of the M2 muscarinic cholinergic receptor are reconstituted into phospholipid vesicles.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3M2.


FLAG- and HA-tagged M2 muscarinic receptors from coinfected Sf9 cells have been purified in digitonin-cholate and reconstituted into phospholipid vesicles. The purified receptor was predominantly monomeric: it showed no detectable coimmunoprecipitation; it migrated as a monomer during electrophoresis before or after cross-linking with bis(sulfosuccinimidyl)suberate; and it bound agonists and antagonists in a manner indicative of identical and mutually independent sites. Receptor cross-linked after reconstitution or after reconstitution and subsequent solubilization in digitonin-cholate migrated almost exclusively as a tetramer. The binding properties of the reconstituted receptor mimicked those reported previously for cardiac muscarinic receptors. The apparent capacity for N-[3H]methylscopolamine (NMS) was only 60% of that for [3H]quinuclidinylbenzilate (QNB), yet binding at saturating concentrations of [3H]QNB was inhibited fully and in a noncompetitive manner at comparatively low concentrations of unlabeled NMS. Reconstitution of the receptor with a saturating quantity of functional G proteins led to the appearance of three classes of sites for the agonist oxotremorine-M in assays with [3H]QNB; GMP-PNP caused an apparent interconversion from highest to lowest affinity and the concomitant emergence of a fourth class of intermediate affinity. All of the data can be described quantitatively in terms of cooperativity among four interacting sites, presumably within a tetramer; the effect of GMP-PNP can be accommodated as a shift in the distribution of tetramers between two states that differ in their cooperative properties. Monomers of the M2 receptor therefore can be assembled into tetramers with binding properties that closely resemble those of the muscarinic receptor in myocardial preparations.

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