Differential signaling of human Mel1a and Mel1b melatonin receptors through the cyclic guanosine 3'-5'-monophosphate pathway

Biochem Pharmacol. 1999 Aug 15;58(4):633-9. doi: 10.1016/s0006-2952(99)00134-3.


Cyclic guanosine 3'-5'-monophosphate (cGMP) has recently been shown to constitute a second messenger for Xenopus laevis melatonin Mel1c receptors. To verify whether cGMP levels are also modulated by mammalian melatonin receptors, we cloned the genes encoding the human Mel1a and Mel1b receptor subtypes and expressed them in human embryonic kidney cells. Pharmacological profiles and inhibition of forskolin-stimulated adenosine 3'-5'-cyclic monophosphate levels by melatonin confirmed functional expression of high-affinity melatonin receptors. Mel1b receptor-transfected cells modulated cGMP levels in a dose-dependent manner via the soluble guanylyl cyclase pathway. In contrast, Mel1a receptors had no effect on cGMP levels. These results demonstrate that mammalian melatonin receptors modulate cGMP levels and reveal for the first time differences in signaling between melatonin receptor subtypes, which may explain the necessity to express different receptor subtypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Cyclic GMP / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Melatonin*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / genetics
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Melatonin
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Receptors, Melatonin
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic GMP
  • Melatonin