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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1995 Sep 25;214(3):1138-45.

Visualization of agonist-induced internalization of histamine H2 receptors.

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Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Department of Pharmacochemistry, The Netherlands.


Histamine H2 receptors were tagged at the N-terminus with the eight amino acid Flag epitope to allow the immunological identification of the receptor peptide with the monoclonal anti-Flag M2 antibody. The introduction of the epitope did not modify the binding of several H2 ligands to the H2 receptor, nor the ability of histamine to stimulate the H2 receptor mediated cAMP production in HEK-293 cells. Western blots revealed a major protein band of 57 +/- 1 kDa, whereas a second band of 31 +/- 1 kDa was probably the result of a proteolytic breakdown of the 57 kDa band. Immunofluorescence measurements of stably transfected HEK-293 cells revealed the presence of anti-Flag-immunoreactivity in the plasma membrane. This immunoreactivity completely disappeared after a one hour treatment with histamine. The receptor internalization was reversible and blocked by the endocytosis inhibitor phenylarsine oxide. Forskolin did not induce H2 receptor internalization, indicating that histamine causes H2 receptor internalization via a cAMP-independent pathway.

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