Beta-adrenergic receptors: regulatory role of agonists.
Direct radioligand binding studies have been used to probe the molecular mechanisms whereby agonist catecholamines regulate the function of beta-adrenergic receptors in a model system, the frog erythrocyte. The unique characteristics of agonist as opposed to antagonist action are first, the ability to stimulate the adenylate cyclase through the receptor and second, the ability to desensitize the system by alterations induced in beta-adrenergic receptors. These properties of agonist are not shared by antagonist despite the high affinity and specificity of antagonist binding to the beta-adrenergic receptors. Agonist and antagonist receptor complexes may be distinguished in a variety of ways including differences in their sensitivity to regulatory guanine nucleotides and also by gel chromatography on AcA 34 Ultragel. The agonist receptor complex appears to elute from the columns with an apparently increased size. A "dynamic receptor affinity model" of beta-adrenergic receptor action is proposed which features several distinct conformational states of the receptor. Agonists have much higher affinity for the physiologically active or coupled state of the receptor, whereas antagonists have equal affinity for both. In addition, a third "desensitized" state of the receptor is also postulated to exist.
Lefkowitz, RJ; Limbird, LE; Williams, LT; Wessels, M
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