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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2011 Aug;41(8):563-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2011.03.008. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

Molecular and pharmacological characterization of two D(1)-like dopamine receptors in the Lyme disease vector, Ixodes scapularis.

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Department of Entomology, Purdue University, 901 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.


Advancements in tick neurobiology may impact the development of acaricides to control those species that transmit human and animal diseases. Here, we report the first cloning and pharmacological characterization of two neurotransmitter binding G protein-coupled receptors in the Lyme disease (blacklegged) tick, Ixodes scapularis. The genes IscaGPRdop1 and IscaGPRdop2 were identified in the I. scapularis genome assembly and predicted as orthologs of previously characterized D(1)-like dopamine receptors in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and honeybee Apis mellifera. Heterologous expression in HEK 293 cells demonstrated that each receptor functioned as a D(1)-like dopamine receptor because significant increases in levels of intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) were detected following dopamine treatment. Importantly, the receptors were distinct in their pharmacological properties regarding concentration-dependent response to dopamine, constitutive activity, and response to other biogenic amines. Exposure to a variety of dopamine receptor agonists and antagonists further demonstrated a D(1)-like pharmacology of these dopamine receptors and highlighted their differential activities in vitro.

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