Evidence for the role of agonist binding frequency in receptor-mediated activation of adenylate cyclase

Douglas Franklin Stickle, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


$\beta$-adrenergic receptor-mediated activation of adenylate cyclase exhibits an agonist-specific separation between the dose/response curve (characterized by the EC$\sb{50}$) and the dose/binding curve (characterized by the K$\sb{\rm d}$). Cyclase activity can be near-maximal when receptor occupancy is quite low (EC$\sb{50}$ $\ll$ K$\sb{\rm d}$). This separation between the binding and response curves can be explained by the assumption that the rate of cyclase activation is proportional to the concentration of agonist-bound receptors, since the receptor is mobile and can activate more than one cyclase (the Collision Coupling Model of Tolkovsky and Levitzki). Here it is established that agonist binding frequency plays an additional role in adenylate cyclase activation in S49 murine lymphoma cells. Using epinephrine (EC$\sb{50}$ = 10 nM, K$\sb{\rm d}$ = 2 $\mu$M), the rate of cyclase activation decreased by 80% when a small (1.5%) receptor occupancy was restricted (by addition of the antagonist propranolol) to a small number (1.5%) of receptors rather than being proportionally distributed among the cell's entire population of receptors. Thus adenylate cyclase activity is not proportional to receptor occupancy in all circumstances. Collisions between receptor and cyclase pairs apparently occur a number of times in rapid sequence (an encounter); the high binding frequency of epinephrine ensures that discontiguous regions of the cell surface experience some period of agonist-bound receptor activity per small unit time minimizing "wasted" collisions between activated cyclase and bound receptor within an encounter. A contribution of agonist binding frequency to activation is thus possible when: (1) the mean lifetime of the agonist-receptor complex is shorter than the mean encounter time, and (2) the absolute efficiency (intrinsic ability to promote cyclase activation per collision) of the agonist-receptor complex is high. These conclusions are supported by experiments using agonists of different efficiencies and binding frequencies. These results are formalized in the Encounter Coupling Model of adenylate cyclase activation, which takes into explicit account the agonist binding frequency, agonist affinity for the $\beta$-adrenergic receptor, agonist efficiency, encounter frequency and the encounter time between receptor and cyclase.

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Recommended Citation

Stickle, Douglas Franklin, "Evidence for the role of agonist binding frequency in receptor-mediated activation of adenylate cyclase" (1989). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9016336.