Two new spliced variants of the human metabotropic glutamate receptor 8 (HmGluR8), designated HmGluR8b and HmGluR8c, were identified in a human fetal brain cDNA library. The HmGluR8b and c differ from previously reported HmGluR8a by the out-of-frame insertions of 55-bp and 74-bp, respectively. The 55-bp insertion which contains a stop codon resulted in substitution of the last 16 amino acids in the C-terminus of HmGluR8a with 16 different amino acids in HmGluR8b. The 74-bp insertion introduces a frame shift in the predicted translation resulting in termination of the polypeptide before the putative seven transmembrane domains. Thus, the predicted HmGluR8c protein is 501 amino acids long and could represent a secreted isoform of the receptor. The pattern of mRNA expression of mGluR8 variants in human brain were analyzed by RT-PCR, Northern blot and in situ hybridization. Both HmGluR8a and b are expressed with similar abundance in fetal and adult brains. The in situ hybridization results indicate a predominantly glial cell expression of HmGluR8c in human brain. The three isoforms were transiently expressed in CHO cells from Semliki Forest Virus vectors. [3H]l-AP4 binding was performed on the cell membranes and the saturation curves showed the presence of a binding site with KD values of 249 and 182 nM and Bmax values of 13.6 and 10.5 pmoles/mg protein for HmGluR8a and b, respectively. For the six mGluR ligands studied, a similar rank order of potency was observed on both HmGluRa and b: l-AP4>l-SOP=l-CCG I>l-glutamate>DCG IV>LY 354740.
Copyright 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.