Regulation of expression and function of muscarinic receptors

Beth A. Habecker, Kathleen M. Tietje, Chris J. van Koppen, Sharon A. Creason, Phyllis S. Goldman, Jacques C. Migeon, Lise A. Parenteau, Neil M. Nathanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The regulation of expression and function of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor has been studied using several different systems. The role of glycosylation of the m2 receptor was examined by removal of glycosylation sites using site-directed mutagenesis followed by expression in stably transfected cells. The results demonstrated that glycosylation was not required for the synthesis and appearance of the receptors on the cell surface or for the coupling of the receptors to inhibition of adenylyl cyclase activity. Site-directed mutagenesis also was used to demonstrate that the single cysteine in the carboxy terminal domain of the m2 receptor was not required for receptor function, thus rendering unlikely a model suggesting a requirement for palmitoylation of this cysteine in receptor function. The muscarinic receptors expressed in embryonic chick heart were identified by molecular cloning. Two genes were initially identified which are expressed in chick heart and correspond to the chick m2 and m4 receptors. Experiments using the polymerase chain reaction to identify low abundance mRNAs indicate that at least one addition receptor gene is expressed in chick heart. In cell culture, activation of the muscarinic receptors decreases the levels of mRNA encoding the cm2 and cm4 receptors. This probably results from decreased gene transcription due to both mAChR-mediated inhibition of adenylyl cyclase and mAChR-mediated stimulation of phospholipase C. The elucidation of the factors which regulate the expression and function of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChR) is of obvious importance in understanding the mechanisms underlying cholinergic transmission. In this chapter, we will describe studies on the expression and function of wild type and mutant muscarinic receptors, the molecular characterization of mAChR expressed in chick heart, and the regulation of mAChR gene expression in response to muscarinic receptor activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-432
Number of pages4
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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