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Actions of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain are mediated by dopamine receptors that belong to the superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Mammals have five dopamine receptor subtypes, D1 through D5. D1 and D5 couple to Gs/olf and activate adenylyl cyclase, whereas D2, D3, and D4 couple to Gi/o and inhibit it. Most GPCRs upon activation by an agonist are phosphorylated by GPCR kinases (GRKs). The GRK phosphorylation makes receptors high-affinity binding partners for arrestin proteins. Arrestin binding to active phosphorylated receptors stops further G protein activation and promotes receptor internalization, recycling or degradation, thereby regulating their signaling and trafficking. Four non- visual GRKs are expressed in striatal neurons. Here we describe known effects of individual GRKs on dopamine receptors in cell culture and in the two in vivo models of dopamine-mediated signaling: behavioral response to psychostimulants and L-DOPA- induced dyskinesia. Dyskinesia, associated with dopamine super-sensitivity of striatal neurons, is a debilitating side effect of L-DOPA therapy in Parkinson's disease. In vivo, GRK subtypes show greater receptor specificity than in vitro or in cultured cells. Overexpression, knockdown, and knockout of individual GRKs, particularly GRK2 and GRK6, have differential effects on signaling of dopamine receptor subtypes in the brain. Furthermore, deletion of GRK isoforms in select striatal neuronal types differentially affects psychostimulant-induced behaviors. In addition, anti-dyskinetic effect of GRK3 does not require its kinase activity: it is mediated by the binding of its RGS-like domain to Gαq/11, which suppresses Gq/11 signaling. The data demonstrate that the dopamine signaling in defined neuronal types in vivo is regulated by specific and finely orchestrated actions of GRK isoforms.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Most proteins have multiple functions. Obviously, conventional methods of manipulating the level of the protein of interest in the cell, such as over-expression, knockout or knockdown, affect all of its functions simultaneously. The key advantage of these methods is that over-expression, knockout or knockdown does not require any knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of the function(s) of the protein of interest. The disadvantage is that these approaches are inadequate to elucidate the role of an individual function of the protein in a particular cellular process. An alternative is the use of re-engineered proteins, in which a single function is eliminated or enhanced. The use of mono-functional elements of a multi-functional protein can also yield cleaner answers. This approach requires detailed knowledge of the structural basis of each function of the protein in question. Thus, a lot of preliminary structure-function work is necessary to make it possible. However, when this information is available, replacing the protein of interest with a mutant in which individual functions are modified can shed light on the biological role of those particular functions. Here, we illustrate this point using the example of protein kinases, most of which have additional non-enzymatic functions, as well as arrestins, known multi-functional signaling regulators in the cell.
G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) kinases (GRKs) play a key role in homologous desensitization of GPCRs. It is widely assumed that most GRKs selectively phosphorylate only active GPCRs. Here, we show that although this seems to be the case for the GRK2/3 subfamily, GRK5/6 effectively phosphorylate inactive forms of several GPCRs, including β2-adrenergic and M2 muscarinic receptors, which are commonly used as representative models for GPCRs. Agonist-independent GPCR phosphorylation cannot be explained by constitutive activity of the receptor or membrane association of the GRK, suggesting that it is an inherent ability of GRK5/6. Importantly, phosphorylation of the inactive β2-adrenergic receptor enhanced its interactions with arrestins. Arrestin-3 was able to discriminate between phosphorylation of the same receptor by GRK2 and GRK5, demonstrating preference for the latter. Arrestin recruitment to inactive phosphorylated GPCRs suggests that not only agonist activation but also the complement of GRKs in the cell regulate formation of the arrestin-receptor complex and thereby G protein-independent signaling.
© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Increased hepatic glucose production is a key pathophysiological feature of type 2 diabetes. Like all other cell types, hepatocytes express many G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that are linked to different functional classes of heterotrimeric G proteins. The important physiological functions mediated by G(s)-coupled hepatic glucagon receptors are well-documented. In contrast, little is known about the in vivo physiological roles of hepatocyte GPCRs that are linked to G proteins of the G(q) family. To address this issue, we established a transgenic mouse line (Hep-Rq mice) that expressed a G(q)-linked designer receptor (Rq) in a hepatocyte-selective fashion. Importantly, Rq could no longer bind endogenous ligands but could be selectively activated by a synthetic drug, clozapine-N-oxide. Clozapine-N-oxide treatment of Hep-Rq mice enabled us to determine the metabolic consequences caused by selective activation of a G(q)-coupled GPCR in hepatocytes in vivo. We found that acute Rq activation in vivo led to pronounced increases in blood glucose levels, resulting from increased rates of glycogen breakdown and gluconeogenesis. We also demonstrated that the expression of the V(1b) vasopressin receptor, a G(q)-coupled receptor expressed by hepatocytes, was drastically increased in livers of ob/ob mice, a mouse model of diabetes. Strikingly, treatment of ob/ob mice with a selective V(1b) receptor antagonist led to reduced glucose excursions in a pyruvate challenge test. Taken together, these findings underscore the importance of G(q)-coupled receptors in regulating hepatic glucose fluxes and suggest novel receptor targets for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
The chemokine receptors, CXCR1 and CXCR2, couple to Gαi to induce leukocyte recruitment and activation at sites of inflammation. Upon activation by CXCL8, these receptors become phosphorylated, desensitized, and internalized. In this study, we investigated the role of different G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) in CXCR1- and CXCR2-mediated cellular functions. To that end, short hairpin RNA was used to inhibit GRK2, 3, 5, and 6 in RBL-2H3 cells stably expressing CXCR1 or CXCR2, and CXCL8-mediated receptor activation and regulation were assessed. Inhibition of GRK2 and GRK6 increased CXCR1 and CXCR2 resistance to phosphorylation, desensitization, and internalization, respectively, and enhanced CXCL8-induced phosphoinositide hydrolysis and exocytosis in vitro. GRK2 depletion diminished CXCR1-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation but had no effect on CXCR2-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation. GRK6 depletion had no significant effect on CXCR1 function. However, peritoneal neutrophils from mice deficient in GRK6 (GRK6(-/-)) displayed an increase in CXCR2-mediated G protein activation but in vitro exhibited a decrease in chemotaxis, receptor desensitization, and internalization relative to wild-type (GRK6(+/+)) cells. In contrast, neutrophil recruitment in vivo in GRK6(-/-) mice was increased in response to delivery of CXCL1 through the air pouch model. In a wound-closure assay, GRK6(-/-) mice showed enhanced myeloperoxidase activity, suggesting enhanced neutrophil recruitment, and faster wound closure compared with GRK6(+/+) animals. Taken together, the results indicate that CXCR1 and CXCR2 couple to distinct GRK isoforms to mediate and regulate inflammatory responses. CXCR1 predominantly couples to GRK2, whereas CXCR2 interacts with GRK6 to negatively regulate receptor sensitization and trafficking, thus affecting cell signaling and angiogenesis.
G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) kinases (GRKs) are best known for their role in homologous desensitization of GPCRs. GRKs phosphorylate activated receptors and promote high affinity binding of arrestins, which precludes G protein coupling. GRKs have a multidomain structure, with the kinase domain inserted into a loop of a regulator of G protein signaling homology domain. Unlike many other kinases, GRKs do not need to be phosphorylated in their activation loop to achieve an activated state. Instead, they are directly activated by docking with active GPCRs. In this manner they are able to selectively phosphorylate Ser/Thr residues on only the activated form of the receptor, unlike related kinases such as protein kinase A. GRKs also phosphorylate a variety of non-GPCR substrates and regulate several signaling pathways via direct interactions with other proteins in a phosphorylation-independent manner. Multiple GRK subtypes are present in virtually every animal cell, with the highest expression levels found in neurons, with their extensive and complex signal regulation. Insufficient or excessive GRK activity was implicated in a variety of human disorders, ranging from heart failure to depression to Parkinson's disease. As key regulators of GPCR-dependent and -independent signaling pathways, GRKs are emerging drug targets and promising molecular tools for therapy. Targeted modulation of expression and/or of activity of several GRK isoforms for therapeutic purposes was recently validated in cardiac disorders and Parkinson's disease.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Alterations of multiple G protein-mediated signaling pathways are detected in schizophrenia. G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) and arrestins terminate signaling by G protein-coupled receptors exerting a powerful influence on receptor functions. Modifications of arrestin and/or GRKs expression may contribute to schizophrenia pathology. Cortical expression of arrestins and GRKs was measured postmortem in control and subjects with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Additionally, arrestin/GRK expression was determined in elderly patients with schizophrenia and age-matched control. Patients with schizophrenia, but not schizoaffective disorder, displayed a reduced concentration of arrestin and GRK mRNAs and GRK3 protein. Arrestins and GRK significantly decreased with age. In elderly patients, GRK6 was reduced, with other GRKs and arrestins unchanged. A reduced cortical concentration of GRKs in schizophrenia (resembling that in aging) may result in altered G protein-dependent signaling, thus contributing to prefrontal deficits in schizophrenia. The data suggest distinct molecular mechanisms underlying schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.
Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Parkinson's disease is caused primarily by degeneration of brain dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and the consequent deficit of dopamine in the striatum. Dopamine replacement therapy with the dopamine precursor l-dopa is the mainstay of current treatment. After several years, however, the patients develop l-dopa-induced dyskinesia, or abnormal involuntary movements, thought to be due to excessive signaling via dopamine receptors. G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) control desensitization of dopamine receptors. We found that dyskinesia is attenuated by lentivirus-mediated overexpression of GRK6 in the striatum in rodent and primate models of Parkinson's disease. Conversely, reduction of GRK6 concentration by microRNA delivered with lentiviral vector exacerbated dyskinesia in parkinsonian rats. GRK6 suppressed dyskinesia in monkeys without compromising the antiparkinsonian effects of l-dopa and even prolonged the antiparkinsonian effect of a lower dose of l-dopa. Our finding that increased availability of GRK6 ameliorates dyskinesia and increases duration of the antiparkinsonian action of l-dopa suggests a promising approach for controlling both dyskinesia and motor fluctuations in Parkinson's disease.
Dopamine and other G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent the major target of antipsychotic drugs. GPCRs undergo desensitization via activation-dependent phosphorylation by G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) followed by arrestin binding. Arrestins and GRKs are major regulators of GPCR signaling. We elucidated changes in expression of two arrestins and four GRKs following chronic (21 days) treatment with haloperidol (1 mg/kg i.p.) or clozapine (20 mg/kg i.p.) 2 or 24 h after the last injection in 11 brain regions. Haloperidol decreased GRK3 in ventrolateral caudate-putamen and transiently down-regulated GRK5 in globus pallidus and caudal caudate-putamen. Clozapine also caused a short-term suppression of the GRK5 expression in the caudal caudate-putamen and globus pallidus, but, unlike haloperidol, elevated GRK5 in the caudal caudate-putamen after 24 h. Unlike haloperidol, clozapine decreased arrestin2 and GRK3 in hippocampus and GRK3 in globus pallidus but increased arrestin2 in the core of nucleus accumbens and ventrolateral caudate-putamen and GRK2 in prefrontal cortex. Clozapine, but not haloperidol, induced long-term activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 2 in ventrolateral caudate-putamen and transient in prefrontal cortex. The data demonstrate that haloperidol and clozapine differentially affect the expression of arrestins and GRKs and ERK activity, which may play a role in determining their clinical profile.
Dysregulation of dopamine (DA) receptors is believed to underlie Parkinson's disease pathology and l-DOPA-induced motor complications. DA receptors are subject to regulation by G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) and arrestins. DA lesion with 6-hydroxydopamine caused multiple protein- and brain region-specific changes in the expression of GRKs. In the globus pallidus, all four GRK isoforms (GRK2, 3, 5, 6) were reduced in the lesioned hemisphere. In the caudal caudate-putamen (cCPu) three GRK isoforms (GRK2, 3, 6) were decreased by DA depletion. The decrease in GRK proteins in globus pallidus, but not cCPu, was mirrored by reduction in mRNA. GRK3 protein was reduced in the rostral caudate-putamen (rCPu), whereas other isoforms were either unchanged or up-regulated. GRK6 protein and mRNA were up-regulated in rCPu and nucleus accumbens. l-DOPA (25 mg/kg, twice daily for 10 days) failed to reverse changes caused by DA depletion, whereas D(2)/D(3) agonist pergolide (0.25 mg/kg daily for 10 days) restored normal levels of expression of GRK5 and 6. In rCPu, GRK2 protein was increased in most subcellular fractions by l-DOPA but not by DA depletion alone. Similarly, l-DOPA up-regulated arrestin3 in membrane fractions in both regions. GRK5 was down-regulated by l-DOPA in cCPu in the light membrane fraction, where this isoform is the most abundant. The data suggest that alterations in the expression and subcellular distribution of arrestins and GRKs contribute to pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease. Thus, these proteins may be targets for antiparkinsonian therapy.