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J Biol Chem. 1994 Oct 21;269(42):25966-9.

Human kappa opiate receptor second extracellular loop elevates dynorphin's affinity for human mu/kappa chimeras.

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Molecular Neurobiology Branch, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, Maryland.


To investigate roles of second extracellular loop sequences in peptide and nonpeptide ligand recognition by human opiate receptors, we have constructed a chimeric receptor in which this domain of the human mu opiate receptor has been replaced with that of the human kappa opiate receptor. The chimeric opiate receptor displays dramatically increased affinity for dynorphin peptides. Affinities for dynorphin A-(1-17), dynorphin A-(1-13), and alpha-neoendorphin increase by up to 250-fold when compared with the wild-type human mu opiate receptor. The chimera maintains recognition of the mu-selective ligands morphine and [D-Ala2,MePhe4,Gly-ol5]enkephalin and displays no significant changes in affinity for the kappa-selective small molecule ligand U50,488. The chimeric opiate receptor displays evidence for effective G-protein coupling; 100 nM dynorphin A-(1-17) is as effective as 100 nM morphine at inhibiting forskolin-stimulated adenyl cyclase activity through actions at the chimeric receptor. These data suggest that the putative second extracellular loop contributes substantially to the kappa receptor's selectivity in dynorphin ligand recognition.

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