The M2 muscarinic G-protein-coupled receptor is voltage-sensitive

Yair Ben-Chaim, Oded Tour, Nathan Dascal, Itzchak Parnas, Hanna Parnas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


G-protein coupled receptors are not considered to exhibit voltage sensitivity. Here, using Xenopus oocytes, we show that the M2 muscarinic receptor (m2R) is voltage-sensitive. The m2R-mediated potassium channel (GIRK) currents were used to assay the activity of m2R. We found that the apparent affinity of m2R toward acetylcholine (ACh) was reduced upon depolarization. Binding experiments of [3H]ACh to individual oocytes expressing m2R confirmed the electrophysiological findings. When the GIRK channels were activated either by overexpression of Gβγ subunits or by injection of GTPγS, the ratio between the currents measured at -60 mV and +40 mV was the same as for the basal activity of the GIRK channel. Thus, the steps downstream to agonist activation of m2R are not voltage-sensitive. We further found that, in contrast to m2R, the apparent affinity of m1R was increased upon depolarization. We also found that the voltage sensitivity of binding of [3H]ACh to oocytes expressing m2R was greatly diminished following pretreatment with pertussis toxin. The cumulative results suggest that m2R is, by itself, voltage-sensitive. Furthermore, the voltage sensitivity does not reside in the ACh binding site, rather, it most likely resides in the receptor region that couples to the G-protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22482-22491
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number25
StatePublished - 20 Jun 2003


FundersFunder number
National Institute of General Medical SciencesR01GM056260
National Institute of General Medical Sciences


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