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J Biol Chem. 2010 Aug 27;285(35):26956-65. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.122838. Epub 2010 Jun 3.

RIC-3 exclusively enhances the surface expression of human homomeric 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3A (5-HT3A) receptors despite direct interactions with 5-HT3A, -C, -D, and -E subunits.

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Department of Human Molecular Genetics, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 366, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Although five 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) subunits (A-E) have been cloned, knowledge on the regulation of their assembly is limited. RIC-3 has been identified as a chaperone specific for the pentameric ligand-gated nicotinic acetylcholine and 5-HT(3) receptors. Therefore, we examined the impact of RIC-3 on differently composed 5-HT(3) receptors with the focus on 5-HT3C, -D, and -E subunits. The influence of RIC-3 on these receptor subtypes is supported by the presence of RIC3 mRNA in tissues expressing at least one of the subunits 5-HT3C, -D, and -E. Furthermore, immunocytochemical studies on transfected mammalian cells revealed co-localization in the endoplasmic reticulum and direct interaction of RIC-3 with 5-HT3A, -C, -D, and -E. Functional and pharmacological characterization was performed using HEK293 cells expressing 5-HT3A or 5-HT3A + 5-HT3B (or -C, -D, or -E) in the presence or absence of RIC-3. Ca(2+) influx analyses revealed that RIC-3 does not influence the 5-HT concentration-response relationship on 5-HT(3)A receptors but leads to differential increases of 5-HT-induced maximum response (E(max)) on cells expressing different subunits. Increases of E(max) were due to analogously enhanced B(max) values for binding of the 5-HT(3) receptor antagonist [(3)H]GR65630. The observed enhanced cell surface expression of the tested 5-HT3 subunit combinations correlated with the increased surface expression of 5-HT3A as determined by flow cytometry. In conclusion, we showed that RIC-3 can interact with 5-HT3A, -C, -D, and -E subunits and predominantly enhances the surface expression of homomeric 5-HT(3)A receptors in HEK293 cells. These data implicate a possible role of RIC-3 in determining 5-HT(3) receptor composition in vivo.

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