Interactions of opioid and chemokine receptors: Oligomerization of mu, kappa, and delta with CCR5 on immune cells

Shunji Suzuki, Linda F. Chuang, Peter Yau, Roy H. Doi, Ronald Y. Chuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Activation of opioid receptors by morphine was previously shown to specifically induce the expression of chemokine receptor CCR5, promoting simian AIDS virus entry and replication in immune cells. The present study was undertaken to determine whether these two structurally and functionally distinct G-protein-coupled receptors are in close proximity and form an oligomeric complex in the cell membrane so that the activation of one triggers the activity of the other. Both human CEM x 174 and monkey lymphocytes were used in this study and gave similar results. Immunoprecipitation experiments showed that CCR5, but not CD4 nor Na+/H+ exchanger, coprecipitates with all three subtypes (mu, delta, and kappa) of opioid receptors. A single protein band immunoreactive with antibodies against both the CCR5 and the opioid receptors was identified after electrophoresis on nondenaturing polyacrylamide gels. Chemical crosslinking experiments using glutaraldehyde or BS3 indicate that these receptors are closely situated on the cell membrane with an intermolecular distance less than 11.4Å. Functional studies revealed that a combination treatment of cells with morphine, an agonist for mu, and MIP-1β, a ligand for CCR5, suppresses the inhibitory effect of MIP-1β and increases the stimulatory effect of morphine on CCR5 expression. These results suggest that oligomerization of chemokine receptor CCR5 and opioid receptors on the cell membrane of human or monkey lymphocytes may modulate receptor functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-200
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemokine receptor CCR5
  • Immune cells
  • Oligomerization
  • Opioid receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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