Molecular cloning and characterization of receptors for the mammalian bombesin-like peptides

Eliezer Giladi, Srinivasa R. Nagalla, Eliot R. Spindel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The bombesin-like peptides comprise a large family of peptides common to both amphibians and mammals that function as growth factors, neurotransmitters, and paracrine hormones. GRP, the mammalian homolog of bombesin and its receptor, as well as NMB, the mammalian homolog of ranatensin, are expressed in human neoplasms and, in particular, in small cell lung carcinomas (SCLC). To better characterize the physiological roles of bombesin-like peptides, our laboratory has cloned the receptors for GRP in murines, rats, and humans. The 3T3 GRP receptor was isolated and characterized using the two-electrode-voltage-clamp analysis and acquorinemission methods in xenopus oocytes expression system. The rat and human GRP and NMB receptors were cloned by hybridization at low stringency, using the mouse cDNA receptor probe. Sequence analysis of the receptors showed 384 and 390 amino acids for GRP and NMB receptors, respectively. The homology between the two receptors is 60% and between species in the same receptor, 90%. The receptors belong to the 7-membrane spanning domains superfamily. The specific GRP-R antagonist blocked the response to bombesin in oocytes injected with GRP-R, but failed to do so in oocytes injected with NMB-R. The two receptors differ in their distribution of tissue expression. RNA blot and RNase protection analysis showed the same size of mRNA without alteration in the receptors. RT + PCR analysis performed on genomic DNA revealed similarity between normal and cell DNAs, suggesting no major gene deletion or rearrangement. Southern blot analysis indicated the absence of gene amplification. Sequence analysis of the exonic segments of the receptor genes displayed identical amino acids to the respective cDNAs. None of the genes had classic TATAA box. Somatic cell hybrids localized the GRP-R on the X-chromosome and the NMB-R on chromosome 6. The same sequence of normal genes and cDNAs of GRP and NMB receptors, together with the gene characterization, demonstrated that SCLC cell lines do not require a structural change in receptor protein or genomic rearrangement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-54
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Molecular Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1993


  • GRP receptors
  • NMB receptor
  • growth factor
  • small cell lung carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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