A sheep endometrial oxytocin receptor (OTR) cDNA (1·5 kb) was isolated from a λ-ZAP library using a reverse transcription-PCR product probe generated from oestrous endometrial mRNA. The sheep OTR cDNA shared an overall similarity of 82% with human OTR cDNA, 85% with pig OTR cDNA and 76% with rat OTR cDNA. The encoded receptor was a 391 amino acid polypeptide 94% similar to human OTR, 94% similar to pig OTR and 93% similar to rat OTR. The sheep OTR contained two additional amino acids compared with human OTR which were located in the highly GC-rich third intracytoplasmic loop. This region is thought to be associated with G protein coupling and signal transduction. Expression of the cDNA in Cos-7 cells and measurement of oxytocin-induced phosphoinositide turnover confirmed that it coded for a functional product. The affinity of the expressed receptor was comparable with that observed for the in vivo receptor.
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