Seven transmembrane receptors: something old, something new.
- R J Lefkowitz
- Acta physiologica
Preincubation of turkey erythrocytes with isoproterenol results in an impaired ability of beta-adrenergic agonists to stimulate adenylate cyclase in membranes prepared from these cells. The biochemical basis for this agonist-induced desensitization was investigated using the new beta-adrenergic antagonist photoaffinity label [125I]p-azidobenzylcarazolol ([125I]PABC). Exposure of [125I]PABC-labeled turkey erythrocyte membranes to high intensity light leads to specific covalent incorporation of the labeled compound into two polypeptides, Mr approximately equal to 38,000 and 50,000, as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide electrophoresis. Incorporation of [125I]PABC into these two polypeptides is completely blocked by a beta-adrenergic agonist and antagonist consistent with covalent labeling of the beta-adrenergic receptor. After desensitization of the turkey erythrocyte by preincubation with 10(-5) M isoproterenol, the beta-adrenergic receptor polypeptides specifically labeled by [125I]PABC in membranes prepared from desensitized erythrocytes were of larger apparent molecular weight (Mr approximately equal to 42,000 versus 38,000, and 53,000 versus 50,000) compared to controls. When included during the preincubation of the erythrocytes with isoproterenol, the antagonist propranolol (10(-5) M) inhibited both agonist-promoted desensitization of the adenylate cyclase and the altered mobility of the [125I]PABC-labeled receptor polypeptides. These data indicate that structural alterations in the beta-adrenergic receptor accompany the desensitization process in turkey erythrocytes.