Cysteine pairs in the third intracellular loop of the muscarinic M 1 acetylcholine receptor play a role in agonist-induced internalization

Gregory W. Sawyer, Frederick J. Ehlert, Crystal A. Shults

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We determined the functional role of a small domain in the third intracellular loop of the human muscarinic M1 (hM1) receptor. Using site-directed mutagenesis, several mutant hM1 receptors were made possessing either a deletion or point mutations within the third intracellular loop domain 252PETPPGRCCRCC263. Wild-type and mutant hM1 receptors were transiently expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells, and the effects of each mutation on radioligand binding, agonist-mediated phosphoinositide hydrolysis, and agonist-induced internalization were determined. The mutant receptors exhibited a modest reduction in affinity for [3H]N-methylscopolamine (pKD = ∼9.0) and a moderately increased binding capacity relative to the wild-type receptor. This moderate increase in binding capacity was associated with small increases in the maximal response and potency of carbachol for eliciting phosphoinositide hydrolysis through the mutant receptors (pEC50 = ∼5.5) relative to wild-type (pEC50 = 5.35 ± 0.05). In contrast, carbachol-induced internalization of mutant hM1 receptors possessing either C259A/C260A or C262A/C263A or both double point mutations was significantly reduced compared to the wild-type hM1 receptor. Of the hM1 receptor mutants tested, those possessing a C262D/C263D double point mutation had the least carbachol-induced internalization. The desensitization and down-regulation of receptors possessing either Cys/Ala or Cys/Asp double point mutations were similar to those observed for the wild-type hM1 receptor. Collectively, these observations suggest that Cys pairs Cys259/Cys260 and Cys262/Cys263 play an important role in the agonist-induced internalization of hM1 receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-205
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


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