Taurine receptor: kinetic analysis and pharmacological studies

Adv Exp Med Biol. 1992;315:263-8. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4615-3436-5_31.


A new procedure for the preparation of the taurine receptor from mammalian brain is described. The taurine receptor thus prepared shows a Kd of 92 nM, Bmax of 6.0 pmol/mg protein and Hill coefficient of 0.90 suggesting a single site model for the binding of 3H-taurine to the receptor. The binding of 3H-taurine to the receptor is highly specific and is not affected by agonists and antagonists of other receptors such as glutamate, quisqualic acid, kainate and NMDA for the glutamate receptor; glycine and strychnine for the glycine receptor; FNZP for the benzodiazepine receptor; picrotoxin and bicuculline for the GABAB receptor. However, analogues of taurine (e.g., homotaurine and hypotaurine) are potent inhibitors inhibiting more than 50% of 3H-taurine binding at 0.1 microM. Taurine receptor binding is not significantly affected by monovalent cations (e.g., Na+, K+, Li+ and NH4+) at 1 mM or divalent cations (e.g., Mg2+, Ca2+, Ba2+ and Mn2+) at 0.1 mM. However, the binding was completely abolished by Co2+, Zn2+ and Hg2+ at 0.1 mM, suggesting the presence of free sulfhydryl groups near or at the ligand binding site. Among the amino acids tested, cysteic acid was the most potent inhibitor, followed by beta-alanine, valine, tyrosine and cysteine inhibiting 3H-taurine to an extent of 84, 66, 63, 62, and 58% of 1 mM, respectively. Nucleotides and second messengers (e.g., ATP, ADP, cAMP, GTP, cGMP and diacyl glycerol) do not inhibit 3H-taurine binding significantly at 0.1 mM. From above studies, it seems that the taurine receptor is not up- or down-regulated by ions or second messengers at the taurine binding site. Whether the taurine receptor is coupled to a G-protein mediated second messenger system is currently under investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / pharmacology*
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cations / pharmacology
  • Kinetics
  • Nucleotides / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / drug effects*
  • Second Messenger Systems / physiology*
  • Taurine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Taurine / pharmacology


  • Amino Acids
  • Cations
  • Nucleotides
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • taurine receptor
  • Taurine