Agonist-induced changes in β-adrenergic receptors on intact cells

M. L. Toews, J. P. Perkins

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57 Scopus citations


Competition by β-adrenergic agonists and antagonists for 125I-pindolol binding sites on intact cells (1321N1 human astrocytoma and C62B rat glioma) was measured using short time binding assays as previously described. Preincubation of cells with agonists converted about half of the cellular β-adrenergic receptors from a form exhibiting high affinity for the agonists isoproterenol and epinephrine and the antagonist sotalol to a form exhibiting much lower apparent affinity for these ligands in short time assays. Exposure to agonists did not alter the affinity of receptors for the antagonist metoprolol. This change in the ligand binding properties of the receptor was rapid (t( 1/2 ) = 1-2 min following a lag of about 0.5 min), reversible (t( 1/2 ) = 6-8 min), and dependent on the agonist concentration present during the preincubation (K0.5 = 15 nM for isoproterenol). Both isoproterenol and sotalol attained equilibrium with the high affinity receptors very rapidly but equilibrated only slowly with those receptors exhibiting low apparent affinity in short time assays. These results are interpreted in terms of a model which postulates that both the low apparent affinity in short time assays and the subsequent slow equilibration of hydrophilic ligands with these receptors result from agonist-induced internalization of a fraction of cell surface β-adrenergic receptors. The relationship of this change in receptor binding properties to other aspects of agonist-induced desensitization of the β-adrenergic receptor-coupled adenylate cyclase system is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2227-2235
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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