Identification and importance of N-glycosylation of the human 5-hydroxytryptamine3A receptor subunit

Sarah Lindesay, Julie Williams, Anthony Hope, Nicholas Barnes

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27 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the presence and potential role of N-glycosylation of the human (h) 5-hydroxytryptamine3 (5-HT3A) receptor subunit expressed in COS-7 cells. Incubation of cells with the N-glycosylation inhibitor, tunicamycin, reduced the molecular weight of the predominant immunoreactive h5-HT3A subunit species (from approximate to59 to 45 kDa) indicating that the h5-HT3A subunit is normally N-glycosylated. Site-directed mutagenesis studies individually substituting four identified N-terminal asparagines (N5, N81, N147, N163) demonstrated that each expressed mutant displayed a reduced molecular weight (by approximate to3 kDa) suggesting that each asparagine residue was subject to N-glycosylation. In addition, 5-HT3 receptor binding studies indicated that prevention of N-glycosylation, by individual amino acid substitution at each of the four asparagine residues, either prevented (N81, N147, N163) or greatly reduced (N5) the production of a 5-HT3 receptor binding site. Corresponding with the radioligand binding studies, immunocytochemical studies demonstrated that substitution of each asparagine either prevented (N81, N147, N163) or reduced considerably (N5) mutant protein expression within the cell membrane. The present study demonstrates an important role for N-glycosylation at multiple identified asparagine residues in the N-terminus of the h5-HT3A receptor subunit. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1787-1796
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • glycosylation
  • 5-hydroxytryptamine
  • 5-HT3 receptor
  • post-translational modification
  • ligand-gated ion channel
  • 5-HT3A subunit


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