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M Montiel and E Jimenez

In this study we showed, for the first time, the existence of a moderate density of specific angiotensin II (Ang II) binding sites (Kd=3.9+/-1.7 nM and Bmax=467.2 130.0 fmol/mg protein) in plasma membrane preparations from rat thyroid gland. Reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reactions, using primers based on the cloned AT1 and AT2 receptor subtypes, and pharmacological characterization, using the Ang II receptor subtype antagonists Losartan and PD 123319, revealed that these Ang II binding sites match with the AT1 receptor subtypes. To obtain more information on the molecular structure of this Ang II receptor, immunoblotting analyses were carried out using a polyclonal rabbit anti-AT1 antiserum. Western analysis of fresh plasma membrane preparations from thyroid tissue showed three prominent bands of approximately 60, 45 and 40 kDa which appear to be related to different degrees of glycosylation of the receptor molecule. The functional significance of the Ang II receptors in thyroid gland is currently not known. Nevertheless, since Ang II receptors play a pivotal role in the co-ordinated actions of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), our findings support a reciprocal regulation of thyroid function by the RAS.

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M Montiel, S Barker, G P Vinson, and E Jiménez


The angiotensin II (Ang II)-binding sites in rat adrenal gland membranes were characterized using 125I-radiolabelled Ang II. While Scatchard analysis identified a single population of Ang II receptor sites, isoelectric focusing (IEF) on polyacrylamide gels revealed four peaks of specific Ang II binding which migrated to isoelectric points (pI values) 6·8, 6·7, 6·5 and 6·3. In binding assays in the presence of an excess of the Ang II receptor AT1 subtype antagonist DuP 753, a monophasic dose-dependent displacement of 125I-labelled Ang II binding by the Ang II receptor AT2 subtype antagonist CGP42112A was observed, and vice versa. In this system, reduction of disulphide bridges using 1 mmol dithiothreitol (DTT)/l markedly increased the number of binding sites in the adrenal zona glomerulosa without affecting receptor affinity.

Using IEF, it was found that both DuP 753 and CGP42112A were able to reduce specific binding of each of the four peaks to some extent. However, the predominant effect of DuP 753 was to reduce the labelling of the isoform at pI 6·7 substantially, while CGP42112A significantly inhibited the specific 125I-labelled Ang II binding to the pI 6·3 isoform. When DuP 753 and CGP42112A were used together, specific binding of 125I-labelled Ang II to the isoforms of pI values 6·8, 6·7 and 6·3 was completely eliminated. These data suggest that the four peaks of specific binding found may be composed of different isoforms of both AT1 and AT2 receptor subtypes and that the Ang II receptor isoforms which migrated to pI 6·7 and pI 6·3 are predominantly composed of AT1 and AT2 receptor subtypes respectively. Interestingly, in the presence of both antagonists, 8·7 ± 0·9% of the specific binding migrating at pI 6·5 remained unaffected. This finding suggests the presence of an additional subtype, which is neither AT1 nor AT2, in the rat adrenal zona glomerulosa.

In further studies, pretreatment with DTT was found to increase the specific 125I-labelled Ang II binding of all four isoforms. Moreover, DTT also produced a further specific binding component between pI 6·5 and pI 6·7 which exhibited AT2 subtype pharmacology in DTT-treated preparations. Since DTT has been reported to enhance only AT2 subtype binding this also suggests that the different isoforms may contain components related to both AT1 and AT2 receptor subtypes.

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E. Jimenez, S. Marsigliante, S. Barker, J. P. Hinson, and G. P. Vinson


Angiotensin II (AII) receptors were identified in rat tissue membranes by specific binding of 125I-labelled AII. Using an isoelectric focusing technique, two forms of the high-affinity AII receptor were identified in rat adrenal zona glomerulosa and liver membranes. These migrated to isoelectric points (pI) 6.8 and 6.7. Two low-affinity forms migrated to pI 6.5 and 6.3. The two high-affinity forms were in greatest abundance in the zona glomerulosa, while the low-affinity pI 6.5 isoform was predominant in liver membranes. In uterine membranes both low-affinity isoforms were observed, but there was only one of the high-affinity forms (pI 6.7).

Concentrations of AII receptor isoforms were increased in the zona glomerulosa of sodium-deprived rats.

Reduction of disulphide bridges with dithiothreitol (DTT) had different effects on the various AII receptor isoforms. Thus 1 mmol DTT/l caused a twofold increase in 125I-labelled AII binding in zona glomerulosa membranes. DTT produced no appreciable differences in specific AII binding in uterine membranes, whereas there was a 50% reduction of binding in liver membranes. At 20mmol/1, DTT greatly decreased AII binding in all tissues.

The data suggest the existence of multiple forms of AII receptors which may have different functions.

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S Marsigliante, T Verri, S Barker, E Jimenez, G P Vinson, and C Storelli


Previous studies have shown the effects of angiotensin II (Ang II) in teleosts, and Ang II-binding sites have also been localized in tissues from rainbow trout. The purpose of this study was to extend these findings and to provide an analysis of Ang II receptor (Ang II-R) isoforms in three tissues obtained from European eel (Anguilla anguilla).

Ang II-Rs were identified in eel liver, kidney and intestine membranes by the binding of either 0·5 nmol human 125I-labelled Tyr4-lle5-Ang II/l or increasing concentrations (1–120 nmol/l) of [3,5-3H]Tyr4-Ile5-Ang II. Using an isoelectric focusing technique, two Ang II-binding sites were identified in liver membranes. These migrated to isoelectric points (pI values) 6·5 and 6·7. Seventy per cent of binding to both sites was displaced by a 10 000-fold excess of unlabelled human Ang II. In both whole plasma membranes and brush border membranes from intestine, only one form of the Ang II-R was found, with pI 6·5 and high affinity (K d=3·4 nmol/l) for the [3,5-3H]Tyr4-Ile5-Ang II. Similarly, only the isoform focusing at pI 6·5 was observed in renal tubular epithelial brush border membranes. Reduction of disulphide bridges with dithiothreitol significantly enhanced Ang II binding to the isoform at pI 6·5 in liver (P<0·05) and kidney (P<0·01), while in liver the binding to the isoform of pI 6·7 was significantly reduced (P<0·001).

The data suggest the existence in eel liver of multiple forms of Ang II-R, which may have different functions, while one single form appeared to be present in enterocyte plasma membrane and in renal brush border membrane.