Evidence that the σ1 receptor is not directly coupled to G proteins
Sigma (sigma) receptors have been implicated in psychosis, cognition, neuroprotection, and locomotion in the central nervous system. The signal transduction mechanisms for sigma receptors have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we examined the possible coupling between sigma(1) receptors and heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins) in rodent brain. In sigma(1) receptor-rich cerebellar membrane preparations, the competitive binding curves of two sigma(1) agonists, (+)pentazocine and 1S,2R-(-)-cis-N-[2-(3, 4-dichlorophenyl)ethyl]-N-methyl-2-(1-pyrrolidinyl)cyclohexylamine (BD737), were unaffected by the addition of 10 microM guanosine-5'-O-(gamma-thio)-triphosphate (GTPgammaS). Neither (+)pentazocine (1-100 microM) nor BD737 (0.01-10 microM) stimulated GTPase activities significantly above basal levels in agonist-stimulated GTPase activity assays in cerebellar membranes. Furthermore, when using the method of agonist-stimulated [35S]GTPgammaS binding as assessed by autoradiography, we did not observe significant stimulation of [35S]GTPgammaS binding in rat brain sections by either (+)pentazocine or BD737. The above results demonstrate that the sigma(1) receptor is not likely be directly coupled to G proteins.
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