We have identified a gene encoding a GABAB receptor, the human GABABR2, located on chromosome 9q22.1, that is distinct from the recently reported rat GABABR1. GABABR2 structurally resembles GABABR1 (35% identity), having seven transmembrane domains and a large extracellular region, but differs in having a longer carboxy-terminal tail. GABABR2 is localized to the cell surface in transfected COS cells, and negatively couples to adenylyl cyclase in response to GABA, baclofen, and 3-aminopropyl(methyl)phosphinic acid in CHO cells lacking GABABR1. Baclofen action is inhibited by the GABABR antagonist, 2-hydroxysaclofen. The human GABABR2 and GABABR1 genes are differentially expressed in the nervous system, with the greatest difference being detected in the striatum in which GABABR1 but not GABABR2 mRNA transcripts are detected. GABABR2 and GABABR1 mRNAs are also coexpressed in various brain regions such as the Purkinje cell layer of the cerebellum. Identification of a functional homomeric GABABR2 coupled to adenylyl cyclase suggests that the complexity of GABAB pharmacological data is at least in part due to the presence of more than one receptor and opens avenues for future research leading to an understanding of metabotropic GABA receptor signal transduction mechanisms.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.