Biochemical Journal

Research article

Genomic organization and characterization of splice variants of the human histamine H3 receptor

Francis COGÉ, Sophie-Pénélope GUÉNIN, Valérie AUDINOT, Anne RENOUARD-TRY, Philippe BEAUVERGER, Christelle MACIA, Christine OUVRY, Nadine NAGEL, Hervé RIQUE, Jean A. BOUTIN, Jean-Pierre GALIZZI


In the present paper we report the genomic organization of the human histamine H3-receptor gene, which consists of four exons spanning 5.5kb on chromosome 20. Using PCR, six alternative splice variants of the H3 receptor were cloned from human thalamus. These variants were found to be coexpressed in human brain, but their relative distribution varied in a region-specific manner. These isoforms displayed either a deletion in the putative second transmembrane domain (TM), H3(∆TM2, 431aa) or a variable deletion in the third intracellular loop (i3), H3(∆i3, 415aa), H3(∆i3, 365aa), H3(∆i3, 329aa) and H3(∆TM5+∆i3, 326aa). In order to determine the biological role of the H3 receptor variants compared with the ‘original’ H3(445aa) receptor, three isoforms, namely H3(445aa), H3(∆TM2, 431aa) and H3(∆i3, 365aa), were expressed in CHO cells and their pharmacological properties were investigated. Binding studies showed that H3(∆TM2, 431aa) transiently expressed in CHO cells was unable to bind [125I]iodoproxyfan, whereas both the H3(445aa) and H3(∆i3, 365aa) receptors displayed a high affinity for [125I]iodoproxyfan [Kd = 28±5pM (n = 4) and 8±1pM (n = 5) respectively]. In addition, H3(∆i3, 365aa) possessed the same pharmacological profile as the H3(445aa) receptor. However, in CHO cells expressing H3(∆i3, 365aa), H3 agonists did not inhibit forskolin-induced cAMP production, stimulate [35S]guanosine 5′-[γ-thio]triphosphate ([35S]GTP[S]) binding or stimulate intracellular Ca2+ mobilization. Therefore the 80-amino-acid sequence located at the C-terminal portion of i3 plays an essential role in H3 agonist-mediated signal transduction. The existence of multiple H3 isoforms with different signal transduction capabilities suggests that H3-mediated biological functions might be tightly regulated through alternative splicing mechanisms.

  • alternative splicing
  • histamine H3-receptor gene
  • G-protein-coupled receptor
  • third intracellular loop