The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics

Selectivity profile of muscarinic toxin 3 in functional assays of cloned and native receptors.

PMID 9862767


By using acetylcholine-induced stimulation of [35S]guanosine-5'-O-(3-thio)triphosphate ([35S]GTPgammaS) binding to membrane G proteins as a functional assay of the cloned human m1-m4 muscarinic receptor subtypes stably expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells, muscarinic toxin 3 (MT3) was found to block the m4 receptor with a potency (pA2 = 8.33) much higher than those displayed at the m1 (pA2 = 6.78), m3 (pA2 = 6.3), and m2 (pA2 < 6.3) subtypes. In N1E-115 cells, which have been reported to express m4 receptors coupled to inhibition of cAMP, MT3 potently antagonized the carbachol-induced inhibition of adenylyl cyclase with a pA2 of 8. 81 and displayed monophasic inhibitory curves. Unexpectedly, in NG108-15 cells, known to express only m4 receptors, MT3 counteracted the carbachol inhibition of adenylyl cyclase with a lower potency (pA2 = 7.60) and showed a biphasic inhibitory curve, suggesting the participation of both m4 and m2 receptors. This possibility was supported by radioligand binding data showing that MT3 failed to completely displace the binding of [3H]N-methylscopolamine to NG108-15 cell membranes and by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis, revealing the presence of mRNAs for both m4 and m2 receptor subtypes. These data demonstrate that MT3 possesses a high functional receptor selectivity for both the cloned and native m4 receptors and that in cell systems containing m4 and m2 receptors coupled to a common response, the toxin constitutes a powerful tool to resolve the relative contribution by each receptor subtype.