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Arrestins are soluble relatively small 44-46 kDa proteins that specifically bind hundreds of active phosphorylated GPCRs and dozens of non-receptor partners. There are binding partners that demonstrate preference for each of the known arrestin conformations: free, receptor-bound, and microtubule-bound. Recent evidence suggests that conformational flexibility in every functional state is the defining characteristic of arrestins. Flexibility, or plasticity, of proteins is often described as structural disorder, in contrast to the fixed conformational order observed in high-resolution crystal structures. However, protein-protein interactions often involve highly flexible elements that can assume many distinct conformations upon binding to different partners. Existing evidence suggests that arrestins are no exception to this rule: their flexibility is necessary for functional versatility. The data on arrestins and many other multi-functional proteins indicate that in many cases, "order" might be artificially imposed by highly non-physiological crystallization conditions and/or crystal packing forces. In contrast, conformational flexibility (and its extreme case, intrinsic disorder) is a more natural state of proteins, representing true biological order that underlies their physiologically relevant functions.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are cell surface receptors that respond to a wide variety of stimuli, from light, odorants, hormones, and neurotransmitters to proteins and extracellular calcium. GPCRs represent the largest family of signaling proteins targeted by many clinically used drugs. Recent studies shed light on the conformational changes that accompany GPCR activation and the structural state of the receptor necessary for the interactions with the three classes of proteins that preferentially bind active GPCRs, G proteins, G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs), and arrestins. Importantly, structural and biophysical studies also revealed activation-related conformational changes in these three types of signal transducers. Here, we summarize what is already known and point out questions that still need to be answered. Clear understanding of the structural basis of signaling by GPCRs and their interaction partners would pave the way to designing signaling-biased proteins with scientific and therapeutic potential.
β-Arrestins are key regulators and signal transducers of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The interaction between receptors and β-arrestins is generally believed to require both receptor activity and phosphorylation by GPCR kinases. In this study, we investigated whether β-arrestins are able to bind second messenger kinase-phosphorylated, but inactive receptors as well. Because heterologous phosphorylation is a common phenomenon among GPCRs, this mode of β-arrestin activation may represent a novel mechanism of signal transduction and receptor cross-talk. Here we demonstrate that activation of protein kinase C (PKC) by phorbol myristate acetate, G-coupled GPCR, or epidermal growth factor receptor stimulation promotes β-arrestin2 recruitment to unliganded AT angiotensin receptor (ATR). We found that this interaction depends on the stability lock, a structure responsible for the sustained binding between GPCRs and β-arrestins, formed by phosphorylated serine-threonine clusters in the receptor's C terminus and two conserved phosphate-binding lysines in the β-arrestin2 N-domain. Using improved FlAsH-based serine-threonine clusters β-arrestin2 conformational biosensors, we also show that the stability lock not only stabilizes the receptor-β-arrestin interaction, but also governs the structural rearrangements within β-arrestins. Furthermore, we found that β-arrestin2 binds to PKC-phosphorylated ATR in a distinct active conformation, which triggers MAPK recruitment and receptor internalization. Our results provide new insights into the activation of β-arrestins and reveal their novel role in receptor cross-talk.
© 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
A unique aspect of arrestin-3 is its ability to support both receptor-dependent and receptor-independent signaling. Here, we show that inositol hexakisphosphate (IP) is a non-receptor activator of arrestin-3 and report the structure of IP-activated arrestin-3 at 2.4-Å resolution. IP-activated arrestin-3 exhibits an inter-domain twist and a displaced C-tail, hallmarks of active arrestin. IP binds to the arrestin phosphate sensor, and is stabilized by trimerization. Analysis of the trimerization surface, which is also the receptor-binding surface, suggests a feature called the finger loop as a key region of the activation sensor. We show that finger loop helicity and flexibility may underlie coupling to hundreds of diverse receptors and also promote arrestin-3 activation by IP. Importantly, we show that effector-binding sites on arrestins have distinct conformations in the basal and activated states, acting as switch regions. These switch regions may work with the inter-domain twist to initiate and direct arrestin-mediated signaling.
The human Y receptor (YR) and its cognate ligand, pancreatic polypeptide (PP), are involved in the regulation of energy expenditure, satiety, and food intake. This system represents a potential target for the treatment of metabolic diseases and has been extensively investigated and validated in vivo. Here, we present the compound tBPC (tert-butylphenoxycyclohexanol), a novel and selective YR positive allosteric modulator that potentiates YR activation in G-protein signaling and arrestin3 recruitment experiments. The compound has no effect on the binding of the orthosteric ligands, implying its allosteric mode of action at the YR and evidence for a purely efficacy-driven positive allosteric modulation. Finally, the ability of tBPC to selectively potentiate YR agonism initiated by PP was confirmed in mouse descending colon mucosa preparations expressing native YR, demonstrating YR positive allosteric modulation in vitro.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediate diverse signaling in part through interaction with arrestins, whose binding promotes receptor internalization and signaling through G protein-independent pathways. High-affinity arrestin binding requires receptor phosphorylation, often at the receptor's C-terminal tail. Here, we report an X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) crystal structure of the rhodopsin-arrestin complex, in which the phosphorylated C terminus of rhodopsin forms an extended intermolecular β sheet with the N-terminal β strands of arrestin. Phosphorylation was detected at rhodopsin C-terminal tail residues T336 and S338. These two phospho-residues, together with E341, form an extensive network of electrostatic interactions with three positively charged pockets in arrestin in a mode that resembles binding of the phosphorylated vasopressin-2 receptor tail to β-arrestin-1. Based on these observations, we derived and validated a set of phosphorylation codes that serve as a common mechanism for phosphorylation-dependent recruitment of arrestins by GPCRs.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - The cytosolic arrestin proteins mediate desensitization of activated G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) via competition with G proteins for the active phosphorylated receptors. Arrestins in active, including receptor-bound, conformation are also transducers of signaling. Therefore, this protein family is an attractive therapeutic target. The signaling outcome is believed to be a result of structural and sequence-dependent interactions of arrestins with GPCRs and other protein partners. Here we elucidated the detailed evolution of arrestins in deuterostomes.
RESULTS - Identity and number of arrestin paralogs were determined searching deuterostome genomes and gene expression data. In contrast to standard gene prediction methods, our strategy first detects exons situated on different scaffolds and then solves the problem of assigning them to the correct gene. This increases both the completeness and the accuracy of the annotation in comparison to conventional database search strategies applied by the community. The employed strategy enabled us to map in detail the duplication- and deletion history of arrestin paralogs including tandem duplications, pseudogenizations and the formation of retrogenes. The two rounds of whole genome duplications in the vertebrate stem lineage gave rise to four arrestin paralogs. Surprisingly, visual arrestin ARR3 was lost in the mammalian clades Afrotheria and Xenarthra. Duplications in specific clades, on the other hand, must have given rise to new paralogs that show signatures of diversification in functional elements important for receptor binding and phosphate sensing.
CONCLUSION - The current study traces the functional evolution of deuterostome arrestins in unprecedented detail. Based on a precise re-annotation of the exon-intron structure at nucleotide resolution, we infer the gain and loss of paralogs and patterns of conservation, co-variation and selection.
Arrestins specifically bind active and phosphorylated forms of their cognate G protein-coupled receptors, blocking G protein coupling and often redirecting the signaling to alternative pathways. High-affinity receptor binding is accompanied by two major structural changes in arrestin: release of the C-tail and rotation of the two domains relative to each other. The first requires detachment of the arrestin C-tail from the body of the molecule, whereas the second requires disruption of the network of charge-charge interactions at the interdomain interface, termed the polar core. These events can be facilitated by mutations destabilizing the polar core or the anchoring of the C-tail that yield "preactivated" arrestins that bind phosphorylated and unphosphorylated receptors with high affinity. Here we explored the functional role in arrestin activation of the three native cysteines in the N domain, which are conserved in all arrestin subtypes. Using visual arrestin-1 and rhodopsin as a model, we found that substitution of these cysteines with serine, alanine, or valine virtually eliminates the effects of the activating polar core mutations on the binding to unphosphorylated rhodopsin while only slightly reducing the effects of the C-tail mutations. Thus, these three conserved cysteines play a role in the domain rotation but not in the C-tail release.
© 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Non-visual arrestins interact with hundreds of different G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Here we show that by introducing mutations into elements that directly bind receptors, the specificity of arrestin-3 can be altered. Several mutations in the two parts of the central "crest" of the arrestin molecule, middle-loop and C-loop, enhanced or reduced arrestin-3 interactions with several GPCRs in receptor subtype and functional state-specific manner. For example, the Lys139Ile substitution in the middle-loop dramatically enhanced the binding to inactive M muscarinic receptor, so that agonist activation of the M did not further increase arrestin-3 binding. Thus, the Lys139Ile mutation made arrestin-3 essentially an activation-independent binding partner of M, whereas its interactions with other receptors, including the β-adrenergic receptor and the D and D dopamine receptors, retained normal activation dependence. In contrast, the Ala248Val mutation enhanced agonist-induced arrestin-3 binding to the β-adrenergic and D dopamine receptors, while reducing its interaction with the D dopamine receptor. These mutations represent the first example of altering arrestin specificity via enhancement of the arrestin-receptor interactions rather than selective reduction of the binding to certain subtypes.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Arrestins play a prominent role in shutting down signaling via G protein-coupled receptors. In recent years, a signaling role for arrestins independent of their function in receptor desensitization has been discovered. Two ubiquitously expressed arrestin isoforms, arrestin-2 and arrestin-3, perform similarly in the desensitization process and share many signaling functions, enabling them to substitute for one another. However, signaling roles specific to each isoform have also been described. Mice lacking arrestin-3 (ARR3KO) were reported to show blunted acute responsiveness to the locomotor stimulatory effect of amphetamine (AMPH). It has been suggested that mice with deletion of arrestin-2 display a similar phenotype. Here we demonstrate that the AMPH-induced locomotion of male ARR3KO mice is reduced over the 7-day treatment period and during AMPH challenge after a 7-day withdrawal. The data are consistent with impaired locomotor sensitization to AMPH and suggest a role for arrestin-3-mediated signaling in the sensitization process. In contrast, male ARR2KO mice showed enhanced early responsiveness to AMPH and the lack of further sensitization, suggesting a role for impaired receptor desensitization. The comparison of mice possessing one allele of arrestin-3 and no arrestin-2 with ARR2KO littermates revealed reduced activity of the former line, consistent with a contribution of arrestin-3-mediated signaling to AMPH responses. Surprisingly, ARR3KO mice with one arrestin-2 allele showed significantly reduced locomotor responses to AMPH combined with lower novelty-induced locomotion, as compared to the ARR3KO line. These data suggest that one allele of arrestin-2 is unable to support normal locomotor behavior due to signaling and/or developmental defects.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.