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

Internalization and Src activity regulate the time course of ERK activation by delta opioid receptor ligands.

The present study showed that delta opioid receptor (deltaOR) ligands Tyr-Ticpsi [CH(2)-NH]Cha-Phe-OH (TICP) and ICI174864 behaved as inverse agonists in the cyclase pathway but induced agonist responses in the ERK cascade. Unlike ligands that behaved as agonists in both pathways, and whose stimulation of ERK was marked but transient (10 min), ERK activation by ICI174864 and TICP was moderate and sustained, lasting for more than 1 h in the case of TICP. Biochemical experiments showed that duration of ERK activation by agonists and "dual efficacy ligands" was inversely correlated with their ability to trigger receptor phosphorylation and degradation. Thus, although TICP stabilized deltaORs in a conformation that did not incorporate (32)P, was not a substrate for tyrosine kinase Src, and was not down-regulated following prolonged exposure to the drug, the conformation stabilized by D-Pen-2,5-enkephalin (DPDPE) incorporated (32)P, was phosphorylated by Src, and suffered degradation within the first 2 h of treatment. Inhibition of endocytosis by sucrose prolonged ERK activation by DPDPE increasing the decay half-life of the response to values that resembled those of dual efficacy ligands (from a 2-min decay t((1/2)) increased to 12 min). Src inhibitor PP2 also prolonged ERK stimulation by DPDPE. It did so by maintaining a sustained activation of the kinase at approximately 20% of maximum following an initial rapid reduction in the response. These results show that specific kinetics of ERK activation by agonists and dual efficacy ligands are determined, at least in part, by the differential ability of the two types of drugs to trigger mechanisms regulating deltaOR responsiveness.[1]


  1. Internalization and Src activity regulate the time course of ERK activation by delta opioid receptor ligands. Audet, N., Paquin-Gobeil, M., Landry-Paquet, O., Schiller, P.W., Piñeyro, G. J. Biol. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
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