In a previous publication, using human 5-hydroxytryptamine7 (h5-HT7) receptor-expressing human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells, we reported the rapid, potent inactivation of the h5-HT7 receptor stimulation of cAMP production by three antagonists: risperidone, 9-OH-risperidone, and methiothepin (Smith et al., 2006). To better understand the drug-receptor interaction producing the inactivation, we 1) expanded the list of inactivating drugs, 2) determined the inactivating potencies and efficacies by performing concentration-response experiments, and 3) determined the potencies and efficacies of the inactivators as irreversible binding site inhibitors. Three new drugs were found to fully inactivate the h5-HT7 receptor: lisuride, bromocryptine, and metergoline. As inactivators, these drugs displayed potencies of 1, 80, and 321 nM, respectively. Pretreatment of 5-HT7-expressing HEK cells with increasing concentrations of the inactivating drugs risperidone, 9-OH-risperidone, methiothepin, lisuride, bromocriptine, and metergoline potently inhibited radiolabeling of the h5-HT7 receptor, with IC50 values of 9, 5.5, 152, 3, 73, and 10 nM, respectively. We were surprised to find that maximal concentrations of risperidone and 9-OH-risperidone inhibited only 50% of the radiolabeling of h5-HT7 receptors. These results indicate that risperidone and 9-OH risperidone may be producing 5-HT7 receptor inactivation by different mechanisms than lisuride, bromocryptine, metergoline, and methiothepin. These results are not interpretable using the conventional model of G-protein-coupled receptor function. The complex seems capable of assuming a stable inactive conformation as a result of the interaction of certain antagonists. The rapid, potent inactivation of the receptor-G-protein complex by antagonists implies a constitutive, pre-existing complex between the h5-HT7 receptor and a G-protein
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