By contrast with mammalian beta-adrenergic receptors, the avian isoform elicits two distinct effector responses, activation of adenylate cyclase and polyphosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C (PLC) leading to the accumulation of both cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP) and inositol phosphates. We have investigated the mechanisms of beta-adrenergic receptor signalling in turkey erythrocytes. Stimulation of adenylate cyclase by the beta-adrenergic-receptor agonist isoprenaline exhibits a 30-fold lower EC50 than that for PLC activation, which may indicate a marked receptor reserve for the former effector. Similar Ki values were obtained for the inhibition of both responses by four beta-adrenergic antagonists, arguing that a single receptor population is responsible for both effects. Antibodies raised against G-protein peptide sequences were used to show that the identity of the G-protein mediating the PLC response was an avian homologue of G11, the level of expression of which was very similar to that of the stimulatory G-protein of adenylate cyclase, Gs. Thus a single population of beta-adrenergic receptors apparently interacts with distinct G-proteins to activate different effectors. The stoichiometries of the receptor-G-protein-effector interactions are therefore similar for both second-messenger responses and the data are discussed in terms of the different efficacies observed for each response.

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