Within the last few years, an increasing number of neuropeptide receptors have been structurally and functionally characterized. The analysis of these receptors, along with a precise understanding of their pharmacology and signal transduction pathways, has been facilitated by the use of molecular genetic techniques. This review will highlight some of the techniques currently being used to study neuropeptide receptors. Methods for isolation of complementary DNA clones for receptors, analysis of receptor messenger RNA expression and characterization of cloned receptors expressed in cultured cells are reviewed. In addition, a genetic approach for the analysis of neuropeptide receptor function in the context of a whole mammalian organism is discussed.
- CDNA cloning
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