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Comparative Study
, 66 (1), 362-8

Characterization and Expression of the Human A2a Adenosine Receptor Gene

Comparative Study

Characterization and Expression of the Human A2a Adenosine Receptor Gene

R A Peterfreund et al. J Neurochem.


The actions of the neurotransmitter adenosine are mediated by a family of high-affinity, G protein-coupled receptors. We have characterized the gene for the human A2a subtype of adenosine receptor (hA2aR) and determined levels of A2aR mRNA in human brain regions and nonneural tissues. Human genomic Southern blot analysis demonstrates the presence of a single gene encoding the hA2aR located on chromosome 22. Two overlapping cosmids containing the hA2aR gene were isolated from a chromosome 22 library and characterized. Southern blot and sequence analyses demonstrate that the hA2aR gene spans approximately 9-10 kb with a single intron interrupting the coding sequence between the regions encoding transmembrane domains III and IV. The sequence of the hA2aR gene diverged from the reported cDNA structure in the 5' untranslated region. This divergence appears to result from an artifact in the construction of the original cDNA library. By northern blot analysis, high expression of the hA2aR gene was identified in the caudate nucleus with low levels of expression in other brain regions. High expression was also seen in immune tissues; lesser A2aR expression was detected in heart and lung. The gene for the A2a subtype of receptor for the neurotransmitter adenosine falls in the class of intron containing G protein-coupled receptor genes. Expression in the basal ganglia is consistent with a role for the hA2aR in motor control. Activation of the A2aR may also regulate immune responses and cardiopulmonary function.

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