Real-time visualization of the cellular redistribution of G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 and beta-arrestin 2 during homologous desensitization of the substance P receptor.
The substance P receptor (SPR) is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that plays a key role in pain regulation. The SPR desensitizes in the continued presence of agonist, presumably via mechanisms that implicate G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) and beta-arrestins. The temporal relationship of these proposed biochemical events has never been established for any GPCR other than rhodopsin beyond the resolution provided by biochemical assays. We investigate the real-time activation and desensitization of the human SPR in live HEK293 cells using green fluorescent protein conjugates of protein kinase C, GRK2, and beta-arrestin 2. The translocation of protein kinase C betaII-green fluorescent protein to and from the plasma membrane in response to substance P indicates that the human SPR becomes activated within seconds of agonist exposure, and the response desensitizes within 30 s. This desensitization process coincides with a redistribution of GRK2 from the cytosol to the plasma membrane, followed by a robust redistribution of beta-arrestin 2 and a profound change in cell morphology that occurs after 1 min of SPR stimulation. These data establish a role for GRKs and beta-arrestins in homologous desensitization of the SPR and provide the first visual and temporal resolution of the sequence of events underlying homologous desensitization of a GPCR in living cells.
Barak, LS; Warabi, K; Feng, X; Caron, MG; Kwatra, MM
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