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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1993 Sep;266(3):1678-83.

The kappa opioid receptor expressed on the mouse R1.1 thymoma cell line is coupled to adenylyl cyclase through a pertussis toxin-sensitive guanine nucleotide-binding regulatory protein.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York.


The R1.1 mouse thymoma cell line expresses a high-affinity kappa opioid binding site. Opioid binding to this site is inhibited by guanine nucleotides, suggesting that the receptor is coupled to a guanine nucleotide-binding protein. Here, we present evidence that the kappa opioid binding site on R1.1 cell membranes is negatively coupled to adenylyl cyclase. The kappa-selective agonists (trans)-3,4-dichloro-N-methyl-N-[2-(1-pyrrolidinyl)- cyclohexyl]benzeneacetamide methane-sulfonate hydrate [(-)-U50,488], (5 alpha,7 alpha, 8 beta)-(-)-N-methyl-N-(7-(1-pyrrolidinyl)-1-oxas- piro(4,5)dec-8-yl)benzeneacetamide (U69,593) and several dynorphin peptides inhibited basal and forskolin-stimulated cyclic AMP production by up to 40% in R1.1 cell membranes. The order of potency for the inhibition of adenylyl cyclase activity by opioid agonists correlated with their Ki values for the inhibition of [3H]U69,593 binding. Opioid-mediated inhibition of adenylyl cyclase activity was stereoselective, as (-)-U50,488 was more potent than the (+) isomer, and the inhibition was blocked by the kappa-selective antagonist nor-binaltorphimine. The opioid-mediated inhibition of adenylyl cyclase activity was also completely blocked by incubating R1.1 cells with Bordetella pertussis toxin (PTX). Incubation of R1.1 cell membranes with PTX and [adenylate-32P]NAD+ resulted in the exclusive labeling of a 41-kDa protein, as determined by separating the membrane proteins under reducing conditions on a SDS polyacrylamide gel, followed by autoradiography. These results suggest that a PTX-sensitive inhibitory guanine nucleotide-binding protein mediates the link between the thymoma kappa opioid receptor and adenylyl cyclase.

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