Physicochemical Characterization of Detergent-Solubilized γ-Aminobutyric Acid and Benzodiazepine Receptor Proteins from Bovine Brain



[3H]Muscimol and [3H]flunitrazepam binding activities have been solubilized from bovine cortex using the ionic detergent sodium deoxycholate. The soluble receptor proteins were shown to bind [3H]muscimol with a dissociation constant, Kd, of 12 nM and a binding capacity (Bmax value) of 1.56 pmol/mg protein; 7gamma;-amino[3H]- butyric acid with a Kd of 50 nM and Bmax of 1.55 pmol/mg protein; and [3H]flunitrazepam with a Kd of 8 nM and a Bmax of 0.8 pmol/mg protein. Gel filtration of the soluble receptor proteins showed that the γ-amino[3H]-butyric acid and [3H]flunitrazepam binding activities comigrated with a Stokes radius of 6.8 nm. The two binding activities were also found to comigrate after sedimentation in a sucrose density gradient. The hydrodynamic properties of the assumed protein-detergent complexes were determined by gel filtration and sedimentation through gradients of sucrose in H2O or 2H2O. Under the conditions employed, the parameters for both the putative γ-aminobutyric acid and benzodiazepine receptors were : partial specific volume, 0.73 ml g −1; sedimentation coefficient, 12.5 S; molecular weight, 355000; and frictional ratio 1.46. These observations are consistent with the conclusion that the majority of both binding activities solubilized in deoxycholate reside in a single macromolecular complex. However, Triton X-100 selectively solubilized the benzodiazepine binding activity. This suggests that the two binding activities can be at least partially separated.