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Gamma-MSH peptides in the pituitary: effects, target cells, and receptors.

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Calcium, metabolism, Humans, Molecular Sequence Data, Peptides, genetics, Pituitary Gland, cytology, Prolactin, Receptors, Corticotropin, Receptors, Melanocortin, Sequence Alignment, Signal Transduction, physiology, gamma-MSH

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      Abstract

      The melanocortin (MC) gamma3-MSH is believed to signal through the MC3 receptor. We showed that it induces a sustained increase in intracellular free calcium levels ([Ca(2+)](i)) in a subpopulation of pituitary cells. Most of the cells responding to gamma3-MSH express more than one pituitary hormone mRNA. The effect of gamma3-MSH is blocked by SHU9119, a MC3R and MC4R antagonist, in only 50% of the responsive cells, suggesting that in half of these cells the mediating receptor is not the MC3R. Low picomolar doses of gamma3-MSH increase [Ca(2+)](i) in the growth hormone (GH)- and prolactin (PRL)-secreting GH3 cell line. gamma2-MSH and alpha-MSH display a similar effect. SHU9119 does not affect the gamma3-MSH-induced [Ca(2+)](i) response. MTII, a potent synthetic agonist of the MC3R, MC4R, and MC5R, also shows no or low potency in increasing [Ca(2+)](i). By means of RT-PCR, the mRNA of the MC2R, MC3R, and MC4R receptors is undetectable. Experiments testing gamma2-MSH analogues with single alanine replacements show that, unlike the classic MCRs, the His(5)-Phe(6)-Arg(7)-Trp(8) sequence in gamma2-MSH is not a core sequence for activating the gamma-MSH receptor in GH3 cells, whereas Met(3) is essential. Low nanomolar doses of gamma-MSH increase intracellular cAMP levels. Blockade of protein kinase A abolishes the [Ca(2+)](i) responses to gamma3-MSH. gamma2-MSH increases binding of [S(35)]GTPgammaS to membrane preparations of GH3 cells. The pharmacological characteristics of gamma-MSH peptides and analogues on [Ca(2+)](i) and the signal-transduction pathways present strong evidence for the expression of a hitherto uncharacterized gamma-MSH receptor in GH3 cells, belonging to the G protein-coupled receptor family.

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      12851307

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