The most widely studied pathway underlying agonist-promoted internalization of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) involves β-arrestin and clathrin-coated pits. However, both β-arrestin- and clathrin-independent processes have also been reported. Classically, the endocytic routes are characterized using pharmacological inhibitors and various dominant negative mutants, resulting sometimes in conflicting results and interpretational difficulties. Here, taking advantage of the fact that β-arrestin binding to the β2 subunit of the clathrin adaptor AP-2 (β2-adaptin) is needed for the β-arrestin-mediated targeting of GPCRs to clathrin-coated pits, we developed a bioluminescence resonance energy transfer-based approach directly assessing the molecular steps involved in the endocytosis of GPCRs in living cells. For 10 of the 12 receptors tested, including some that were previously suggested to internalize via clathrin-independent pathways, agonist stimulation promoted β-arrestin 1 and 2 interaction with β2-adaptin, indicating a β-arrestin-and clathrin-dependent endocytic process. Detailed analyses of β-arrestin interactions with both the receptor and β2-adaptin also allowed us to demonstrate that recruitment of β-arrestins to the receptor and the ensuing conformational changes are the leading events preceding AP-2 engagement and subsequent clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Among the receptors tested, only the endothelin A and B receptors failed to promote interaction between β-arrestins and β2-adaptin. However, both receptors recruited β-arrestins upon agonist stimulation, suggesting a β-arrestin- dependent but clathrin-independent route of internalization for these two receptors. In addition to providing a new tool to dissect the molecular events involved in GPCR endocytosis, the bioluminescence resonance energy transfer-based β-arrestin/β2-adaptin interaction assay represents a novel biosensor to assess receptor activation. © 2007 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
PMID: 22215733;PMCID: PMC3928814;Abstract:
Adaptation in signaling systems, during which the output returns to a fixed baseline after a change in the input, often involves negative feedback loops and plays a crucial role in eukaryotic chemotaxis. We determined the dynamical response to a uniform change in chemoattractant concentration of a eukaryotic chemotaxis pathway immediately downstream from G protein - coupled receptors. The response of an activated Ras showed near-perfect adaptation, leading us to attempt to fit the results using mathematical models for the two possible simple network topologies that can provide perfect adaptation. Only the incoherent feedforward network accurately described the experimental results. This analysis revealed that adaptation in this Ras pathway is achieved through the proportional activation of upstream components and not through negative feedback loops. Furthermore, these results are consistent with a local excitation, global inhibition mechanism for gradient sensing, possibly with a Ras guanosine triphosphatase - activating protein acting as a global inhibitor.
PMID: 21145496;PMCID: PMC3033560;Abstract:
During cell migration, chemoattractant-induced signaling pathways determine the direction of movement by controlling the spatiotemporal dynamics of cytoskeletal components. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Liu et al. report that the target of rapamycin complex 2 (TORC2) controls cell polarity and chemotaxis through regulation of both F-actin and myosin II in migrating neutrophils. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
PMID: 17635933;PMCID: PMC2064438;Abstract:
Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)γ and Dictyostelium PI3K are activated via G protein-coupled receptors through binding to the Gβγ subunit and Ras. However, the mechanistic role(s) of Gβγ and Ras in PI3K activation remains elusive. Furthermore, the dynamics and function of PI3K activation in the absence of extracellular stimuli have not been fully investigated. We report that gβ null cells display PI3K and Ras activation, as well as the reciprocal localization of PI3K and PTEN, which lead to local accumulation of PI(3,4,5)P3. Simultaneous imaging analysis reveals that in the absence of extracellular stimuli, autonomous PI3K and Ras activation occur, concurrently, at the same sites where F-actin projection emerges. The loss of PI3K binding to Ras - guanosine triphosphate abolishes this PI3K activation, whereas prevention of PI3K activity suppresses autonomous Ras activation, suggesting that PI3K and Ras form a positive feedback circuit. This circuit is associated with both random cell migration and cytokinesis and may have initially evolved to control stochastic changes in the cytoskeleton. © The Rockefeller University Press.
The V2 vasopressin receptor (V2R) activates the mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK) ERK1/2 through a mechanism involving the scaffolding protein βarrestin. Here we report that this activating pathway is independent of Gαs, Gαi, Gαq or Gβγ and that the V2R-mediated activation of Gαs inhibits ERK1/2 activity in a cAMP/PKA-dependent manner. In the HEK293 cells studied, the βarrestin-promoted activation was found to dominate over the PKA-mediated inhibition of the pathway, leading to a strong vasopressin-stimulated ERK1/2 activation. Despite the strong MAPK activation and in contrast with other GPCR, V2R did not induce any significant increase in DNA synthesis, consistent with the notion that the stable interaction between V2R and βarrestin prevents signal propagation to the nucleus. βarrestin was found to be essential for the ERK1/2 activation, indicating that the recruitment of the scaffolding protein is necessary and sufficient to initiate the signal in the absence of any other stimulatory cues. Based on the use of selective pharmacological inhibitors, dominant negative mutants and siRNA, we conclude that the βarrestin-dependent activation of ERK1/2 by the V2R involves c-Src and a metalloproteinase-dependent trans-activation event. These findings demonstrate that βarrestin is a genuine signalling initiator that can, on its own, engage a MAPK activation machinery upon stimulation of a GPCR by its natural ligand. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.