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

Four consecutive serines in the third intracellular loop are the sites for beta-adrenergic receptor kinase- mediated phosphorylation and desensitization of the alpha 2A-adrenergic receptor.

During short term agonist exposure, the alpha 2A-adrenergic receptor (alpha 2AAR) undergoes rapid functional desensitization caused by phosphorylation of the receptor by the beta-adrenergic receptor kinase (beta ARK). This signal quenching is similar in nature to that found with a number of G-protein coupled receptors in which agonist-promoted desensitization is due to beta ARK phosphorylation; like these other receptors, the precise molecular determinants of the receptor required for beta ARK phosphorylation are not known. To delineate such a motif in the human alpha 2AAR (alpha 2C10), we constructed six mutated receptors consisting of deletions or substitutions of Ser-296-299 in the EESSSS sequence of the third intracellular loop of the receptor. These were expressed in Chinese hamster ovary and COS-7 cells, and agonist-promoted desensitization and receptor phosphorylation were assessed. Deletion of the EESSSS sequence and substitution of alanine for all four serines resulted in a total loss of phosphorylation and desensitization. Mutant receptors that retained two of the original serines (AASS and SSAA) underwent agonist-promoted phosphorylation of 55 +/- 7% and 57 +/- 8% of the phosphorylation found for wild type alpha 2C10. Additional substitution mutants (SSSA and SAAA) underwent 77 +/- 1% and 27 +/- 4% of wild type phosphorylation, respectively. Thus, substitution of alanine for each additional serine decreased overall phosphorylation as compared with wild type alpha 2C10 by approximately 25%, which is consistent with all 4 serines being phosphorylated. Mutated receptors that only partially phosphorylated (as compared with wild type) failed to undergo agonist-promoted desensitization. Thus, beta ARK-mediated phosphorylation of alpha 2C10 occurs at Ser-296-299 in the third intracellular loop, and this represents the critical step in rapid agonist-promoted desensitization. A number of other G-protein coupled receptors that undergo desensitization have a sequence motif similar to that which we have found for beta ARK-mediated phosphorylation of alpha 2C10, suggesting that these receptors may also be substrates for beta ARK.[1]


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