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Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 Aug 20;590(1-3):36-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.05.036. Epub 2008 Jul 4.

Adenosine A(2A) receptor dynamics studied with the novel fluorescent agonist Alexa488-APEC.

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Karolinska Institutet, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Sect. Receptor Biology & Signaling, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.


G protein-coupled receptors, such as the adenosine A(2A) receptor, are dynamic proteins, which undergo agonist-dependent redistribution from the cell surface to intracellular membranous compartments, such as endosomes. In order to study the kinetics of adenosine A(2A) receptor redistribution in living cells, we synthesized a novel fluorescent agonist, Alexa488-APEC. Alexa488-APEC binds to adenosine A(2A) (K(i)=149+/-27 nM) as well as A(3) receptors (K(i)=240+/-160 nM) but not to adenosine A(1) receptors. Further, we characterized the dose-dependent increase in Alexa488-APEC-induced cAMP production as well as cAMP response element binding (CREB) protein phosphorylation, verifying the ligand's functionality at adenosine A(2A) but not A(2B) receptors. In live-cell imaging studies, Alexa488-APEC-induced adenosine A(2A) receptor internalization, which was blocked by the competitive reversible antagonist ZM 241385 and hyperosmolaric sucrose. Further, internalized adenosine A(2A) receptors co-localized with clathrin and Rab5, indicating that agonist stimulation promotes adenosine A(2A) receptor uptake through a clathrin-dependent mechanism to Rab5-positive endosomes. The basic characterization of Alexa488-APEC described here showed that it provides a useful tool for tracing adenosine A(2A) receptors in vitro.

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