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Nature. 1989 Dec 21-28;342(6252):926-9.

Multiple D2 dopamine receptors produced by alternative RNA splicing.

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  • 1Experimental Therapeutics Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Dopamine receptor belong to a large class of neurotransmitter and hormone receptors that are linked to their signal transduction pathways through guanine nucleotide binding regulatory proteins (G proteins). Pharmacological, biochemical and physiological criteria have been used to define two subcategories of dopamine receptors referred to as D1 and D2. D1 receptors activate adenylyl cyclase and are coupled with the Gs regulatory protein. By contrast, activation of D2 receptors results in various responses including inhibition of adenylyl cyclase, inhibition of phosphatidylinositol turnover, increase in K+ channel activity and inhibition of Ca2+ mobilization. The G protein(s) linking the D2 receptors to these responses have not been identified, although D2 receptors have been shown to both copurify and functionally reconstitute with both Gi and Go related proteins. The diversity of responses elicited by D2-receptor activation could reflect the existence of multiple D2 receptor subtypes, the identification of which is facilitated by the recent cloning of a complementary DNA encoding a rat D2 receptor. This receptor exhibits considerable amino-acid homology with other members of the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily. Here we report the identification and cloning of a cDNA encoding an RNA splice variant of the rat D2 receptor cDNA. This cDNA codes for a receptor isoform which is predominantly expressed in the brain and contains an additional 29 amino acids in the third cytoplasmic loop, a region believed to be involved in G protein coupling.

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