Triphenylmethane dye activation of beta-arrestin.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

β-Arrestins regulate G protein-coupled receptor signaling as competitive inhibitors and protein adaptors. Low molecular weight biased ligands that bind receptors and discriminate between the G protein dependent arm and β-arrestin, clathrin-associated arm of receptor signaling are considered therapeutically valuable as a result of this distinctive pharmacological behavior. Other than receptor agonists, compounds that activate β-arrestins are not available. We show that within minutes of exposure to the cationic triphenylmethane dyes malachite green and brilliant green, tissue culture cells recruit β-arrestins to clathrin scaffolds in a receptor-activation independent manner. In the presence of these compounds, G protein signaling is inhibited, ERK and GSK3β signaling are preserved, and the recruitment of the beta2-adaptin, AP2 adaptor complex to clathrin as well as transferrin internalization is reduced. Moreover, malachite green binds β-arrestin2-GFP coated immunotrap beads relative to GFP only coated beads. Triphenylmethane dyes are FDA approved for topical use on newborns as components of triple-dye preparations and are not approved but used effectively as aqueous antibiotics in fish husbandry. As possible carcinogens, their chronic ingestion in food preparations, particularly through farmed fish, is discouraged in the U.S. and Europe. Our results indicate triphenylmethane dyes as a result of novel pharmacology may have additional roles as β-arrestin/clathrin pathway signaling modulators in both pharmacology research and clinical therapy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Barak, LS; Bai, Y; Snyder, JC; Wang, J; Chen, W; Caron, MG

Published Date

  • August 13, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 52 / 32

Start / End Page

  • 5403 - 5414

PubMed ID

  • 23865508

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3744129

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-4995

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/bi400217r


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States