Pharmacological evidence has suggested that endothelin-3 (ET-3) may act via a novel form of ET receptor that is shared by ETA receptor antagonists but not by ETB receptor selective agonists. This study analyses the properties of interaction of ET-3 with recombinant bovine ETA receptor. Apparent Kd(ET-3) values as low as 50 nM were defined from [125I]ET-1 binding experiments performed at low (5 microg/ml) protein concentrations in the assays. Larger (up to 1 microM) values were artefactually obtained in experiments performed at larger protein concentrations. The three monoiodo ET-3 derivatives were synthetized. ([125I]Y14)ET-3 did not recognize ETA receptors. ([125I]Y6)ET-3 labelled 18% of [125I]ET-1 binding sites with a Kd value of 320 pM. ([125I]Y13)ET-3 labelled 44% of [125I]ET-1 binding sites with a Kd value of 130 pM. High affinity ([125I]Y6)ET-3 and ([125I]Y13)ET-3 bindings were prevented by ET-1 (Kd = 5-7 pM), ET-3 (Kd = 70-250 pM), BQ-123 (Kd = 2 nM) and FR139317 (Kd = 2 nM) but not by low concentrations of 4-AlaET-1, sarafotoxin S6c or IRL1620. The three monoiodo ET-3 derivatives bound to recombinant rat ETB receptors with a pM affinity. The results suggest that ET-3, ([125I]Y6)ET-3 and ([125I]Y13)ET-3 should not be considered as ETB receptor specific ligands.
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