Palmitoylation of the canine histamine H2 receptor occurs at Cys(305) and is important for cell surface targeting

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 Jun 20;1539(3):181-91. doi: 10.1016/s0167-4889(01)00104-5.


To determine the presence and functional role of the histamine H2 receptor (H2R) palmitoylation, a receptor with a Cys(305) to Ala (A(305) receptor) mutation was generated. Wild-type (WT) and A(305) receptors were tagged at their N-termini with a hemagglutinin (HA) epitope. WT, but not A(305), receptors incorporated [3H]palmitate by metabolic labeling, indicating that the H2R is palmitoylated at Cys(305). Immunocytochemistry of WT and A(305) receptors expressed in COS7 cells revealed WT receptors to be distributed at the plasma membrane, while the majority of A(305) receptors were localized intracellularly with only a small portion being at the plasma membrane. However, the affinity of the A(305) receptor for tiotidine was comparable to that of the WT receptor. In addition, when the amounts of cell surface receptors as determined by anti-HA antibody binding were equivalent, A(305) receptors mediated production of more cAMP than WT receptors. Preincubation of COS7 cells expressing each receptor with 10(-5) M histamine for 30 min reduced subsequent cAMP production in response to histamine via the receptors to similar extents, indicating that palmitoylation is not necessary for desensitization. In addition, cell surface A(305) receptors were capable of being internalized from the cell surface at a rate and extent similar to those of WT receptors. Finally, CHO cell lines stably expressing either WT or A(305) receptors were incubated with 10(-5) M histamine for 1, 6, 12 and 24 h. Total amounts of WT and A(305) receptors, as determined by tiotidine binding, were reduced by incubation, indicating downregulation. Downregulation of the A(305) receptor was more extensive than that of the WT receptor. Thus, palmitoylation of the H2R might be important for targeting to the cell surface and stability.

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • COS Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • Cyclic AMP / biosynthesis
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Cysteine / metabolism*
  • Dogs
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Endocytosis / drug effects
  • Histamine Agonists / pharmacology
  • Insecta
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Palmitates / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Histamine H2 / genetics
  • Receptors, Histamine H2 / metabolism*
  • Subcellular Fractions


  • Histamine Agonists
  • Palmitates
  • Receptors, Histamine H2
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Adenylyl Cyclases
  • Cysteine