Oxytocin acts through the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) to modulate uterine contractility. We previously identified OXTR genetic variants and showed that, in HEK293T cells, two of the OXTR protein variants localized to the cell surface less than wild-type OXTR. Here, we sought to measure OXTR in the more native human myometrial smooth muscle cell (HMSMC) line on both the cell-surface and across the whole cell, and used CRISPR editing to add an HA tag to the endogenous OXTR gene for anti-HA measurement. Quantitative flow cytometry revealed that these cells possessed 55,000 ± 3200 total OXTRs and 4900 ± 390 cell-surface OXTRs per cell. To identify any differential wild-type versus variant localization, we transiently transfected HMSMCs to exogenously express wild-type or variant OXTR with HA and green fluorescent protein tags. Total protein expression of wild-type OXTR and all tested variants were similar. However, the two variants with lower surface localization in HEK293T cells also presented lower surface localization in HMSMCs. Overall, we confirm the differential surface localization of variant OXTR in a more native cell type, and further demonstrate that the quantitative flow cytometry technique is adaptable to whole-cell measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere25761
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 29 2024


  • Genetic variants
  • Oxytocin receptor
  • Protein surface localization
  • Quantitative flow cytometry


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