Molecular Properties of the Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Receptor in Aorta and Other Tissues

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The molecular weight of the vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) receptor was assessed in bovine aorta, and rat liver, lung, and brain by covalent cross-linking and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The receptor in all four tissues was found to be a single polypeptide of approximate Mr 54,000, contradicting previous claims for substantial heterogeneity in the molecular weight of this receptor. Guanine nucleotides inhibit cross-linking of 125I-VIP to its receptor, and cross-linking with ethylene glycolbis(succinimidylsuccinate) provides further evidence for complex formation between VIP, its receptor and a guanine nucleotide-binding regulatory protein (G-protein). The precise mechanism of receptor-G-protein coupling may differ between the aorta and other tissues.