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Mol Pharmacol. 1998 Feb;53(2):202-12.

Molecular cloning, functional expression, and pharmacological characterization of 5-hydroxytryptamine3 receptor cDNA and its splice variants from guinea pig.

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Lehrstuhl für Zellphysiologie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany.


Polymerase chain reaction and rapid amplification of cDNA ends were used to isolate cDNAs encoding a 5-hydroxytryptamine3 (5-HT3) receptor subunit and its splice variants from guinea pig intestine. The amino acid sequence predicted from this cDNA is 81% homologous to the murine 5-HT3 receptor subunits cloned from NCB20 and N1E-115 cells. The splice variants code for two proteins differing by a deletion of six amino acids located in the large intracellular loop between transmembrane domains M3 and M4. For characterization, the cloned 5-HT3 cDNA was expressed in HEK 293 cells, and the electrophysiological and pharmacological properties of the recombinant ion/channel/receptor complex were investigated by patch clamping. Our data reveal that the cloned cDNAs code for guinea pig 5-HT3 receptors, which functionally assemble as homo-oligomers. The kinetic behavior of the ion channel and its sensitivity to several agonists and antagonists were markedly different from those of the cloned 5-HT3 receptors from mouse and human under similar experimental conditions. The agonists used were 5-hydroxytryptamine, 2-methyl-5-hydroxytryptamine, 1-phenylbiguanide (PBG), m-chlorophenylbiguanide, and the antagonists tropisetron and metoclopramide. In addition, 5-HT, PBG, and tropisetron were investigated through radioligand binding to isolated membranes. Compared with the human and murine 5-HT3 receptors, the guinea pig receptor showed prolonged desensitization kinetics. In addition, the guinea pig 5-HT3 receptor did not respond to the selective 5-HT3 receptor agonist PBG. Construction of chimeric receptors between guinea pig and human 5-HT3 receptor sequences localized the differences in desensitization kinetics to the carboxyl-terminal domain and the ligand binding site to the amino-terminal domain of the receptor protein. Molecular determinants of the PBG binding site of the human 5-HT3 receptor were localized to a 28-amino-acid spanning region adjacent to the M1 region.

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