PD81,723 {(2-amino-4,5-dimethyl-3-thienyl)-[3-(trifluromethyl)-phenyl]methanone} is a selective allosteric enhancer of the Gi-coupled A1 AR (adenosine receptor) that is without effect on Gs-coupled A2A ARs. PD81,723 elicits a decrease in the dissociation kinetics of A1 AR agonist radioligands and an increase in functional agonist potency. In the present study, we sought to determine whether enhancer sensitivity is dependent on coupling domains or G-protein specificity of the A1 AR. Using six chimaeric A1/A2A ARs, we show that the allosteric effect of PD81,723 is maintained in a chimaera in which the predominant G-protein-coupling domain of the A1 receptor, the 3ICL (third intracellular loop), is replaced with A2A sequence. These chimaeric receptors are dually coupled with Gs and Gi, and PD81,723 increases the potency of N6-cyclopentyladenosine to augment cAMP accumulation with or without pretreatment of cells with pertussis toxin. Thus PD81,723 has similar functional effects on chimaeric receptors with A1 transmembrane sequences that couple with Gi or Gs. This is the first demonstration that an allosteric regulator can function in the context of a switch in G-protein-coupling specificity. There is no enhancement by PD81,723 of Gi-coupled A2A chimaeric receptors with A1 sequence replacing A2A sequence in the 3ICL. The results suggest that the recognition site for PD81,723 is on the A1 receptor and that the enhancer acts to directly stabilize the receptor to a conformational state capable of coupling with Gi or Gs.

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