The GPCR-β-arrestin complex allosterically activates C-Raf by binding its amino terminus.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) convert external stimuli into cellular signals through heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G-proteins) and β-arrestins (βarrs). In a βarr-dependent signaling pathway, βarrs link GPCRs to various downstream signaling partners, such as the Raf-mitogen-activated protein kinase extracellular signal-regulated kinase-extracellular signal-regulated kinase cascade. Agonist-stimulated GPCR-βarr complexes have been shown to interact with C-Raf and are thought to initiate the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway through simple tethering of these signaling partners. However, recent evidence shows that in addition to canonical scaffolding functions, βarrs can allosterically activate downstream targets, such as the nonreceptor tyrosine kinase Src. Here, we demonstrate the direct allosteric activation of C-Raf by GPCR-βarr1 complexes in vitro. Furthermore, we show that βarr1 in complex with a synthetic phosphopeptide mimicking the human V2 vasopressin receptor tail that binds and functionally activates βarrs also allosterically activates C-Raf. We reveal that the interaction between the phosphorylated GPCR C terminus and βarr1 is necessary and sufficient for C-Raf activation. Interestingly, the interaction between βarr1 and C-Raf was considerably reduced in the presence of excess activated H-Ras, a small GTPase known to activate C-Raf, suggesting that H-Ras and βarr1 bind to the same region on C-Raf. Furthermore, we found that βarr1 interacts with the Ras-binding domain of C-Raf. Taken together, these data suggest that in addition to canonical scaffolding functions, GPCR-βarr complexes directly allosterically activate C-Raf by binding to its amino terminus. This work provides novel insights into how βarrs regulate effector molecules to activate downstream signaling pathways.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zang, Y; Kahsai, AW; Pakharukova, N; Huang, L-Y; Lefkowitz, RJ

Published Date

  • December 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 297 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 101369 -

PubMed ID

  • 34757127

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8633562

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1083-351X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jbc.2021.101369


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States