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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Functionally distinct and selectively phosphorylated GPCR subpopulations co-exist in a single cell.

  • Author(s): Shen, Ao;
  • Nieves-Cintron, Madeline;
  • Deng, Yawen;
  • Shi, Qian;
  • Chowdhury, Dhrubajyoti;
  • Qi, Jinyi;
  • Hell, Johannes W;
  • Navedo, Manuel F;
  • Xiang, Yang K
  • et al.

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) transduce pleiotropic intracellular signals in a broad range of physiological responses and disease states. Activated GPCRs can undergo agonist-induced phosphorylation by G protein receptor kinases (GRKs) and second messenger-dependent protein kinases such as protein kinase A (PKA). Here, we characterize spatially segregated subpopulations of β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) undergoing selective phosphorylation by GRKs or PKA in a single cell. GRKs primarily label monomeric β2ARs that undergo endocytosis, whereas PKA modifies dimeric β2ARs that remain at the cell surface. In hippocampal neurons, PKA-phosphorylated β2ARs are enriched in dendrites, whereas GRK-phosphorylated β2ARs accumulate in soma, being excluded from dendrites in a neuron maturation-dependent manner. Moreover, we show that PKA-phosphorylated β2ARs are necessary to augment the activity of L-type calcium channel. Collectively, these findings provide evidence that functionally distinct subpopulations of this prototypical GPCR exist in a single cell.

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