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Visualising functional 5-HT3 receptors containing A and C subunits at or near the cell surface
journal contributionposted on 16.11.2020, 02:44 by IPL Abad, RL Fam, DT Nguyen, CJ Nowell, PNH Trinh, DT Manallack, LA Freihat, J Chakrabarti, A Jamil, B Exintaris, NS Yaakob, Helen Irving
© 2020 Five different subunits of the human serotonin 3 (5-hydroxytrptamine 3; 5-HT3) receptor exist and these are present in both central and peripheral systems. Different subunits alter the efficacy of 5-HT3 receptor antagonists used to treat diarrhoea predominant-irritable bowel syndrome, chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting and depression. Cell surface arrangement of 5-HT3 receptor complexes and the contribution of C, D and E subunits to receptor function is poorly understood. Here, we examine interactions of A and C subunits using 5-HT3 receptor subunits containing fluorescent protein inserts between the 3rd and 4th transmembrane spanning region. HEK293T cells that do not normally express 5-HT3 receptor subunits, were transiently transfected with A or C or both subunits. Patch clamp experiments show that cells transfected with either fluorescent protein tagged A or A and C subunits generate whole cell currents in response to 5-HT. These findings correlate with the apparent distribution of fluorescent protein tagged A and C subunits at or near cell surfaces detected using TIRF microscopy. In co-transfected cells, the A and C subunits are associated forming AC heteromer complexes at or near the cell surface and a proportion can also form A or C homomers. In conclusion, it is likely that both A homomers and AC heteromers contribute to whole cell currents in response to 5-HT with minimal contribution from C homomers.