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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Receptor phosphorylation mediates estradiol reduction of alpha2-adrenoceptor coupling to G protein in the hypothalamus of female rats.

Estrogen increases evoked norepinephrine release in the hypothalamus of female rodents, in part by reducing the ability of alpha2-adrenoceptors to act as negative feed-back inhibitors of norepinephrine release. Estrogen enhancement of norepinephrine release in the hypothalamus correlates with decreased coupling of the alpha2-adrenoceptor to G protein. To determine the mechanism by which estrogen uncouples alpha2-adrenoceptors from G protein, we tested the hypothesis that estrogen increases alpha2-adrenoceptor phosphorylation. Short-term activation of endogenous serine/threonine phosphatases with protamine or treatment with exogenous phosphatase restored alpha2-adrenoceptor coupling to G protein to control levels in hypothalami from estrogen-exposed female rats. Additional experiments examined whether estrogen alters G protein-coupled receptor kinase expression or activity or serine/threonine phosphatase activity. These proteins are involved in G protein-coupled receptor phosphorylation, internalization, and recycling. Estrogen exposure reduced G protein-coupled receptor kinase mRNA, protein, and activity in the hypothalamus. Furthermore, estrogen treatment reduced serine/threonine phosphatase activity in the hypothalamus. Analysis of ligand binding in subcellular fractions demonstrated that estrogen decreases the fraction of internalized alpha2-adrenoceptors in the hypothalamus.Therefore, estrogen promotes norepinephrine release in the hypothalamus by stabilizing alpha2-adrenoceptor phosphorylation, uncoupling the receptor from G protein. Estrogen may stabilize alpha2-adrenoceptor phosphorylation by inhibiting receptor internalization and dephosphorylation.[1]


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