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With the ever-increasing burden of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, it is generally acknowledged that there remains a need for developing new therapeutics. One potential mechanism to combat obesity is to raise energy expenditure via increasing the amount of uncoupled respiration from the mitochondria-rich brown and beige adipocytes. With the recent appreciation of thermogenic adipocytes in humans, much effort is being made to elucidate the signaling pathways that regulate the browning of adipose tissue. In this review, we focus on the ligand-receptor signaling pathways that influence the cyclic nucleotides, cAMP and cGMP, in adipocytes. We chose to focus on G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), guanylyl cyclase and phosphodiesterase regulation of adipocytes because they are the targets of a large proportion of all currently available therapeutics. Furthermore, there is a large overlap in their signaling pathways, as signaling events that raise cAMP or cGMP generally increase adipocyte lipolysis and cause changes that are commonly referred to as browning: increasing mitochondrial biogenesis, uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression and respiration.
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.
Mammalian arrestins are a family of four highly homologous relatively small ~ 45 kDa proteins with surprisingly diverse functions. The most striking feature is that each of the two non-visual subtypes can bind hundreds of diverse G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and dozens of non-receptor partners. Through these interactions, arrestins regulate the G protein-dependent signaling by the desensitization mechanisms as well as control numerous signaling pathways in the G protein-dependent or independent manner via scaffolding. Some partners prefer receptor-bound arrestins, some bind better to the free arrestins in the cytoplasm, whereas several show no apparent preference for either conformation. Thus, arrestins are a perfect example of a multi-functional signaling regulator. The result of this multi-functionality is that reduction (by knockdown) or elimination (by knockout) of any of these two non-visual arrestins can affect so many pathways that the results are hard to interpret. The other difficulty is that the non-visual subtypes can in many cases compensate for each other, which explains relatively mild phenotypes of single knockouts, whereas double knockout is lethal in vivo, although cultured cells lacking both arrestins are viable. Thus, deciphering the role of arrestins in cell biology requires the identification of specific signaling function(s) of arrestins involved in a particular phenotype. This endeavor should be greatly assisted by identification of structural elements of the arrestin molecule critical for individual functions and by the creation of mutants where only one function is affected. Reintroduction of these biased mutants, or introduction of monofunctional stand-alone arrestin elements, which have been identified in some cases, into double arrestin-2/3 knockout cultured cells, is the most straightforward way to study arrestin functions. This is a laborious and technically challenging task, but the upside is that specific function of arrestins, their timing, subcellular specificity, and relations to one another could be investigated with precision.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that couple to G proteins modulate neurotransmission presynaptically by inhibiting exocytosis. Release of Gβγ subunits from activated G proteins decreases the activity of voltage-gated Ca channels (VGCCs), decreasing excitability. A less understood Gβγ-mediated mechanism downstream of Ca entry is the binding of Gβγ to SNARE complexes, which facilitate the fusion of vesicles with the cell plasma membrane in exocytosis. Here, we generated mice expressing a form of the SNARE protein SNAP25 with premature truncation of the C terminus and that were therefore partially deficient in this interaction. SNAP25Δ3 homozygote mice exhibited normal presynaptic inhibition by GABA receptors, which inhibit VGCCs, but defective presynaptic inhibition by receptors that work directly on the SNARE complex, such as 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) 5-HT receptors and adrenergic α receptors. Simultaneously stimulating receptors that act through both mechanisms showed synergistic inhibitory effects. SNAP25Δ3 homozygote mice had various behavioral phenotypes, including increased stress-induced hyperthermia, defective spatial learning, impaired gait, and supraspinal nociception. These data suggest that the inhibition of exocytosis by G-coupled GPCRs through the Gβγ-SNARE interaction is a crucial component of numerous physiological and behavioral processes.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
Bile acids are involved in the emulsification and absorption of dietary fats, as well as acting as signaling molecules. Recently, bile acid signaling through farnesoid X receptor and G protein-coupled bile acid receptor (TGR5) has been reported to elicit changes in not only bile acid synthesis but also metabolic processes, including the alteration of gluconeogenic gene expression and energy expenditure. A role for bile acids in glucose metabolism is also supported by a correlation between changes in the metabolic state of patients (i.e., obesity or postbariatric surgery) and altered serum bile acid levels. However, despite evidence for a role for bile acids during metabolically challenging settings, the direct effect of elevated bile acids on insulin action in the absence of metabolic disease has yet to be investigated. The present study examines the impact of acutely elevated plasma bile acid levels on insulin sensitivity using hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps. In wild-type mice, elevated bile acids impair hepatic insulin sensitivity by blunting the insulin suppression of hepatic glucose production. The impaired hepatic insulin sensitivity could not be attributed to TGR5 signaling, as TGR5 knockout mice exhibited a similar inhibition of insulin suppression of hepatic glucose production. Canonical insulin signaling pathways, such as hepatic PKB (or Akt) activation, were not perturbed in these animals. Interestingly, bile acid infusion directly into the portal vein did not result in an impairment in hepatic insulin sensitivity. Overall, the data indicate that acute increases in circulating bile acids in lean mice impair hepatic insulin sensitivity via an indirect mechanism.
Throughout the past five decades, tremendous advancements have been made in our understanding of G protein signaling and presynaptic inhibition, many of which were published in the under the tenure of Herb Tabor as Editor-in-Chief. Here, we identify these critical advances, including the formulation of the ternary complex model of G protein-coupled receptor signaling and the discovery of Gβγ as a critical signaling component of the heterotrimeric G protein, along with the nature of presynaptic inhibition and its physiological role. We provide an overview for the discovery and physiological relevance of the two known Gβγ-mediated mechanisms for presynaptic inhibition: first, the action of Gβγ on voltage-gated calcium channels to inhibit calcium influx to the presynaptic active zone and, second, the direct binding of Gβγ to the SNARE complex to displace synaptotagmin downstream of calcium entry, which has been demonstrated to be important in neurons and secretory cells. These two mechanisms act in tandem with each other in a synergistic manner to provide more complete spatiotemporal control over neurotransmitter release.
© 2019 Zurawski et al.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of signaling proteins targeted by more clinically used drugs than any other protein family. GPCR signaling via G proteins is quenched (desensitized) by the phosphorylation of the active receptor by specific GPCR kinases (GRKs) followed by tight binding of arrestins to active phosphorylated receptors. Thus, arrestins engage two types of receptor elements: those that contain GRK-added phosphates and those that change conformation upon activation. GRKs attach phosphates to serines and threonines in the GPCR C-terminus or any one of the cytoplasmic loops. In addition to these phosphates, arrestins engage the cavity that appears between trans-membrane helices upon receptor activation and several other non-phosphorylated elements. The residues that bind GPCRs are localized on the concave side of both arrestin domains. Arrestins undergo a global conformational change upon receptor binding (become activated). Arrestins serve as important hubs of cellular signaling, emanating from activated GPCRs and receptor-independent.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Stress contributes to numerous psychiatric disorders. Corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) signaling and CRF neurons in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) drive negative affective behaviors, thus agents that decrease activity of these cells may be of therapeutic interest. Here, we show that acute restraint stress increases cFos expression in CRF neurons in the mouse dorsal BNST, consistent with a role for these neurons in stress-related behaviors. We find that activation of α-adrenergic receptors (ARs) by the agonist guanfacine reduced cFos expression in these neurons both in stressed and unstressed conditions. Further, we find that α- and β-ARs differentially regulate excitatory drive onto these neurons. Pharmacological and channelrhodopsin-assisted mapping experiments suggest that α-ARs specifically reduce excitatory drive from parabrachial nucleus (PBN) afferents onto CRF neurons. Given that the α-AR is a G-linked GPCR, we assessed the impact of activating the G-coupled DREADD hM4Di in the PBN on restraint stress regulation of BNST CRF neurons. CNO activation of PBN hM4Di reduced stress-induced in BNST neurons. Further, using as an additional marker of BNST neuronal identity, we uncovered a female-specific upregulation of the coexpression of in BNST neurons following stress, which was prevented by ovariectomy. These findings show that stress activates BNST CRF neurons, and that α-AR activation suppresses the activity of these cells, at least in part by suppressing excitatory drive from PBN inputs onto CRF neurons. Stress is a major variable contributing to mood disorders. Here, we show that stress increases activation of BNST CRF neurons that drive negative affective behavior. We find that the clinically well tolerated α-AR agonist guanfacine reduces activity of these cells , and reduces excitatory PBN inputs onto these cells Additionally, we uncover a novel sex-dependent coexpression of with in female BNST neurons after stress, an effect abolished by ovariectomy. These results demonstrate input-specific interactions between norepinephrine and CRF, and point to an action by which guanfacine may reduce negative affective responses.
Copyright © 2019 the authors 0270-6474/19/390472-13$15.00/0.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Bile diversion to the ileum (GB-IL) has strikingly similar metabolic and satiating effects to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) in rodent obesity models. The metabolic benefits of these procedures are thought to be mediated by increased bile acids, although parallel changes in body weight and other confounding variables limit this interpretation.
METHODS - Global G protein-coupled bile acid receptor-1 null (Tgr5) and intestinal-specific farnesoid X receptor null (Fxr) mice on high-fat diet as well as wild-type C57BL/6 and glucagon-like polypeptide 1 receptor deficient (Glp-1r) mice on chow diet were characterized following GB-IL.
RESULTS - GB-IL induced weight loss and improved oral glucose tolerance in Tgr5, but not Fxr mice fed a high-fat diet, suggesting a role for intestinal Fxr. GB-IL in wild-type, chow-fed mice prompted weight-independent improvements in glycemia and glucose tolerance secondary to augmented insulin responsiveness. Improvements were concomitant with increased levels of lymphatic GLP-1 in the fasted state and increased levels of intestinal Akkermansia muciniphila. Improvements in fasting glycemia after GB-IL were mitigated with exendin-9, a GLP-1 receptor antagonist, or cholestyramine, a bile acid sequestrant. The glucoregulatory effects of GB-IL were lost in whole-body Glp-1r mice.
CONCLUSIONS - Bile diversion to the ileum improves glucose homeostasis via an intestinal Fxr-Glp-1 axis. Altered intestinal bile acid availability, independent of weight loss, and intestinal Akkermansia muciniphila appear to mediate the metabolic changes observed after bariatric surgery and might be manipulated for treatment of obesity and diabetes.
Copyright © 2019 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a deadly disease with no cure. Alternate conversion of angiotensin II (AngII) to angiotensin-(1-7) (Ang-(1-7)) by angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) resulting in Mas receptor (Mas1) activation improves rodent models of PAH. Effects of recombinant human (rh) ACE2 in human PAH are unknown. Our objective was to determine the effects of rhACE2 in PAH.We defined the molecular effects of Mas1 activation using porcine pulmonary arteries, measured AngII/Ang-(1-7) levels in human PAH and conducted a phase IIa, open-label pilot study of a single infusion of rhACE2 (GSK2586881, 0.2 or 0.4 mg·kg intravenously).Superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) and inflammatory gene expression were identified as markers of Mas1 activation. After confirming reduced plasma ACE2 activity in human PAH, five patients were enrolled in the trial. GSK2586881 was well tolerated with significant improvement in cardiac output and pulmonary vascular resistance. GSK2586881 infusion was associated with reduced plasma markers of inflammation within 2-4 h and increased SOD2 plasma protein at 2 weeks.PAH is characterised by reduced ACE2 activity. Augmentation of ACE2 in a pilot study was well tolerated, associated with improved pulmonary haemodynamics and reduced markers of oxidant and inflammatory mediators. Targeting this pathway may be beneficial in human PAH.
Copyright ©ERS 2018.
Until the late 1990s, class A G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) were believed to function as monomers. Indirect evidence that they might internalize or even signal as dimers has emerged, along with proof that class C GPCRs are obligatory dimers. Crystal structures of GPCRs and their much larger binding partners were consistent with the idea that two receptors might engage a single G protein, GRK, or arrestin. However, recent biophysical, biochemical, and structural evidence invariably suggests that a single GPCR binds G proteins, GRKs, and arrestins. Here we review existing evidence of the stoichiometry of GPCR interactions with signal transducers and discuss potential biological roles of class A GPCR oligomers, including proposed homo- and heterodimers.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.