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Topical Collection "G Protein-Coupled Receptor Signaling and Regulation"

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A topical collection in International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This collection belongs to the section "Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics".

Editor

Collection Editor
Prof. Dr. Kathleen Van Craenenbroeck

Laboratory for Eukaryotic Gene Expression and Signal Transduction, Department Physiology University of Gent INW N1 Proeftuinstraat 86, B-9000 Gent, Belgium
Website | E-Mail
Interests: GPCR signaling and regulation; epigenetic regulation; anti-inflammatory strategies with less ‘side-effects’

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

I am editing a Topical Collection entitled "G Protein-Coupled Receptor Signaling and Regulation". We are seeking novel research or review articles focusing on proteins interacting with GPCRs and by doing so modulating GPCR expression, ligand selectivity and/or signaling.

We look forward to receiving your contributions to this exciting Topical Collection.

Prof. Dr. Kathleen Van Craenenbroeck
Collection Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts for the topical collection can be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on this website. The topical collection considers regular research articles, short communications and review articles. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • GPCR
  • regulation
  • expression
  • signaling
  • dimerization
  • internalization
  • maturation
  • ubiquitination

Published Papers (45 papers)

2016

Jump to: 2015, 2014, 2013

Open AccessReview Functional Role of the C-Terminal Amphipathic Helix 8 of Olfactory Receptors and Other G Protein-Coupled Receptors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1930; doi:10.3390/ijms17111930
Received: 28 September 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) transduce various extracellular signals, such as neurotransmitters, hormones, light, and odorous chemicals, into intracellular signals via G protein activation during neurological, cardiovascular, sensory and reproductive signaling. Common and unique features of interactions between GPCRs and specific G proteins are
[...] Read more.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) transduce various extracellular signals, such as neurotransmitters, hormones, light, and odorous chemicals, into intracellular signals via G protein activation during neurological, cardiovascular, sensory and reproductive signaling. Common and unique features of interactions between GPCRs and specific G proteins are important for structure-based design of drugs in order to treat GPCR-related diseases. Atomic resolution structures of GPCR complexes with G proteins have revealed shared and extensive interactions between the conserved DRY motif and other residues in transmembrane domains 3 (TM3), 5 and 6, and the target G protein C-terminal region. However, the initial interactions formed between GPCRs and their specific G proteins remain unclear. Alanine scanning mutagenesis of the murine olfactory receptor S6 (mOR-S6) indicated that the N-terminal acidic residue of helix 8 of mOR-S6 is responsible for initial transient and specific interactions with chimeric Gα15_olf, resulting in a response that is 2.2-fold more rapid and 1.7-fold more robust than the interaction with Gα15. Our mutagenesis analysis indicates that the hydrophobic core buried between helix 8 and TM1–2 of mOR-S6 is important for the activation of both Gα15_olf and Gα15. This review focuses on the functional role of the C-terminal amphipathic helix 8 based on several recent GPCR studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Methionine Regulates mTORC1 via the T1R1/T1R3-PLCβ-Ca2+-ERK1/2 Signal Transduction Process in C2C12 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1684; doi:10.3390/ijms17101684
Received: 2 August 2016 / Revised: 20 September 2016 / Accepted: 27 September 2016 / Published: 11 October 2016
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Abstract
The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) integrates amino acid (AA) availability to support protein synthesis and cell growth. Taste receptor type 1 member (T1R) is a G protein-coupled receptor that functions as a direct sensor of extracellular AA availability to regulate
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The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) integrates amino acid (AA) availability to support protein synthesis and cell growth. Taste receptor type 1 member (T1R) is a G protein-coupled receptor that functions as a direct sensor of extracellular AA availability to regulate mTORC1 through Ca2+ stimulation and extracellular signal–regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) activation. However, the roles of specific AAs in T1R1/T1R3-regulated mTORC1 are poorly defined. In this study, T1R1 and T1R3 subunits were expressed in C2C12 myotubes, and l-AA sensing was accomplished by T1R1/T1R3 to activate mTORC1. In response to l-AAs, such as serine (Ser), arginine (Arg), threonine (Thr), alanine (Ala), methionine (Met), glutamine (Gln), and glycine (Gly), Met induced mTORC1 activation and promoted protein synthesis. Met also regulated mTORC1 via T1R1/T1R3-PLCβ-Ca2+-ERK1/2 signal transduction. Results revealed a new role for Met-regulated mTORC1 via an AA receptor. Further studies should be performed to determine the role of T1R1/T1R3 in mediating extracellular AA to regulate mTOR signaling and to reveal its mechanism. Full article
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Open AccessReview Interactions between Two Different G Protein-Coupled Receptors in Reproductive Hormone-Producing Cells: The Role of PACAP and Its Receptor PAC1R
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1635; doi:10.3390/ijms17101635
Received: 18 August 2016 / Revised: 10 September 2016 / Accepted: 19 September 2016 / Published: 26 September 2016
PDF Full-text (895 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and gonadotropins are indispensable hormones for maintaining female reproductive functions. In a similar manner to other endocrine hormones, GnRH and gonadotropins are controlled by their principle regulators. Although it has been previously established that GnRH regulates the synthesis and secretion
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Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and gonadotropins are indispensable hormones for maintaining female reproductive functions. In a similar manner to other endocrine hormones, GnRH and gonadotropins are controlled by their principle regulators. Although it has been previously established that GnRH regulates the synthesis and secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)—both gonadotropins—from pituitary gonadotrophs, it has recently become clear that hypothalamic GnRH is under the control of hypothalamic kisspeptin. Prolactin, which is also known as luteotropic hormone and is released from pituitary lactotrophs, stimulates milk production in mammals. Prolactin is also regulated by hypothalamic factors, and it is thought that prolactin synthesis and release are principally under inhibitory control by dopamine through the dopamine D2 receptor. In addition, although it remains unknown whether it is a physiological regulator, thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) is a strong secretagogue for prolactin. Thus, GnRH, LH and FSH, and prolactin are mainly regulated by hypothalamic kisspeptin, GnRH, and TRH, respectively. However, the synthesis and release of these hormones is also modulated by other neuropeptides in the hypothalamus. Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a hypothalamic peptide that was first isolated from sheep hypothalamic extracts based on its ability to stimulate cAMP production in anterior pituitary cells. PACAP acts on GnRH neurons and pituitary gonadotrophs and lactotrophs, resulting in the modulation of their hormone producing/secreting functions. Furthermore, the presence of the PACAP type 1 receptor (PAC1R) has been demonstrated in these cells. We have examined how PACAP and PAC1R affect GnRH- and pituitary hormone-secreting cells and interact with their principle regulators. In this review, we describe our understanding of the role of PACAP and PAC1R in the regulation of GnRH neurons, gonadotrophs, and lactotrophs, which are regulated mainly by kisspeptin, GnRH, and TRH, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Involvement of Ca2+ Signaling in the Synergistic Effects between Muscarinic Receptor Antagonists and β2-Adrenoceptor Agonists in Airway Smooth Muscle
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1590; doi:10.3390/ijms17091590
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 8 September 2016 / Published: 21 September 2016
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Abstract
Long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs) and short-acting β2-adrenoceptor agonists (SABAs) play important roles in remedy for COPD. To propel a translational research for development of bronchodilator therapy, synergistic effects between SABAs with LAMAs were examined focused on Ca2+ signaling using simultaneous
[...] Read more.
Long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs) and short-acting β2-adrenoceptor agonists (SABAs) play important roles in remedy for COPD. To propel a translational research for development of bronchodilator therapy, synergistic effects between SABAs with LAMAs were examined focused on Ca2+ signaling using simultaneous records of isometric tension and F340/F380 in fura-2-loaded tracheal smooth muscle. Glycopyrronium (3 nM), a LAMA, modestly reduced methacholine (1 μM)-induced contraction. When procaterol, salbutamol and SABAs were applied in the presence of glycopyrronium, relaxant effects of these SABAs are markedly enhanced, and percent inhibition of tension was much greater than the sum of those for each agent and those expected from the BI theory. In contrast, percent inhibition of F340/F380 was not greater than those values. Bisindolylmaleimide, an inhibitor of protein kinase C (PKC), significantly increased the relaxant effect of LAMA without reducing F340/F380. Iberiotoxin, an inhibitor of large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (KCa) channels, significantly suppressed the effects of these combined agents with reducing F340/F380. In conclusion, combination of SABAs with LAMAs synergistically enhances inhibition of muscarinic contraction via decreasing both Ca2+ sensitization mediated by PKC and Ca2+ dynamics mediated by KCa channels. PKC and KCa channels may be molecular targets for cross talk between β2-adrenoceptors and muscarinic receptors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Calcium-Sensing Receptor in Human Peripheral Blood T Lymphocytes Is Involved in the AMI Onset and Progression through the NF-κB Signaling Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1397; doi:10.3390/ijms17091397
Received: 7 July 2016 / Revised: 28 July 2016 / Accepted: 16 August 2016 / Published: 24 August 2016
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Abstract
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is a condition triggered by an inflammatory process that seriously affects human health. Calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) in T lymphocytes is involved during the inflammation reaction. However, the relationship between them is not very clear. In this study, we collected
[...] Read more.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is a condition triggered by an inflammatory process that seriously affects human health. Calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) in T lymphocytes is involved during the inflammation reaction. However, the relationship between them is not very clear. In this study, we collected human peripheral blood T lymphocytes from patients with AMI and in different stages of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) (at the onset of AMI, the first day after PCI (PCI-1), PCI-3, and PCI-5) to study the CaSR and NF-κB pathway protein expression, cytokine release and T cell apoptosis. The results showed that the expressions of CaSR, P-p65, Caspase-12, and the secretions of Th-1 and Th-2 type cytokines were increased at the onset of AMI, especially on the PCI-1. Meanwhile, the apoptosis rate of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes also increased. However, from PCI-3, all the indicators began to decline. In addition, we also found that positive CaSR small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection in T lymphocytes and NF-κB pathway blocker Bay-11-7082 reversed the increased expressions of CaSR, P-p65, Caspase-12, reduced the secretions of Th-1 and Th-2 type cytokines, and decreased T lymphocytes apoptosis rate not only in the AMI patients but also in the normal controls. All of these results indicated that CaSR in the human peripheral blood T lymphocytes were involved in the AMI onset and progression, which probably was related to the NF-κB pathway. Our study demonstrated the relationship between AMI and CaSR, and will provide new effective prevention theory and new targets for drug treatment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Theophylline-Based KMUP-1 Improves Steatohepatitis via MMP-9/IL-10 and Lipolysis via HSL/p-HSL in Obese Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1345; doi:10.3390/ijms17081345
Received: 26 June 2016 / Revised: 22 July 2016 / Accepted: 10 August 2016 / Published: 17 August 2016
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Abstract
KMUP-1 (7-[2-[4-(2-chlorobenzene)piperazinyl]ethyl]-1,3-dimethylxanthine) has been reported to cause hepatic fat loss. However, the action mechanisms of KMUP-1 in obesity-induced steatohepatitis remains unclear. This study elucidated the steatohepatitis via matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), and related lipolysis via hormone sensitive
[...] Read more.
KMUP-1 (7-[2-[4-(2-chlorobenzene)piperazinyl]ethyl]-1,3-dimethylxanthine) has been reported to cause hepatic fat loss. However, the action mechanisms of KMUP-1 in obesity-induced steatohepatitis remains unclear. This study elucidated the steatohepatitis via matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), and related lipolysis via hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) and adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) by KMUP-1. KMUP-1 on steatohepatitis-associated HSL/p-HSL/ATGL/MMP-9/TNFα/interleukin-10 (IL-10) and infiltration of M1/M2 macrophages in obese mice were examined. KMUP-1 was administered by oral gavage from weeks 1–14 in high-fat diet (HFD)-supplemented C57BL/6J male mice (protection group) and from weeks 8–14, for 6 weeks, in HFD-induced obese mice (treatment group). Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining of tissues, oil globules number and size, infiltration and switching of M1/M2 macrophages were measured to determine the effects on livers. IL-10 and MMP-9 proteins were explored to determine the effects of KMUP-1 on M1/M2 macrophage polarization in HFD-induced steatohepatitis. Long-term administration of KMUP-1 reversed HFD-fed mice increased in body weight, sGOT/sGPT, triglyceride (TG) and glucose. Additionally, KMUP-1 decreased MMP-9 and reactive oxygen species (ROS), and increased HSL/p-HSL and IL-10 in HFD mice livers. In conclusion, KMUP-1, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor (PDEI), was shown to reduce lipid accumulation in liver tissues, suggesting that it could be able to prevent or treat steatohepatitis induced by HFD. Full article
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Open AccessReview G Protein-Coupled Receptors in Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1320; doi:10.3390/ijms17081320
Received: 6 June 2016 / Revised: 21 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 12 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1346 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the fact that G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest signal-conveying receptor family and mediate many physiological processes, their role in tumor biology is underappreciated. Numerous lines of evidence now associate GPCRs and their downstream signaling targets in cancer growth and development.
[...] Read more.
Despite the fact that G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest signal-conveying receptor family and mediate many physiological processes, their role in tumor biology is underappreciated. Numerous lines of evidence now associate GPCRs and their downstream signaling targets in cancer growth and development. Indeed, GPCRs control many features of tumorigenesis, including immune cell-mediated functions, proliferation, invasion and survival at the secondary site. Technological advances have further substantiated GPCR modifications in human tumors. Among these are point mutations, gene overexpression, GPCR silencing by promoter methylation and the number of gene copies. At this point, it is imperative to elucidate specific signaling pathways of “cancer driver” GPCRs. Emerging data on GPCR biology point to functional selectivity and “biased agonism”; hence, there is a diminishing enthusiasm for the concept of “one drug per GPCR target” and increasing interest in the identification of several drug options. Therefore, determining the appropriate context-dependent conformation of a functional GPCR as well as the contribution of GPCR alterations to cancer development remain significant challenges for the discovery of dominant cancer genes and the development of targeted therapeutics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Conserved Arginine Cluster in the Insert of the Third Cytoplasmic Loop of the Long Form of the D2 Dopamine Receptor (D2L-R) Acts as an Intracellular Retention Signal
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(7), 1152; doi:10.3390/ijms17071152
Received: 17 March 2016 / Revised: 5 July 2016 / Accepted: 9 July 2016 / Published: 19 July 2016
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Abstract
This study examined whether the conserved arginine cluster present within the 29-amino acid insert of the long form of the D2 dopamine receptor (D2L-R) confers its predominant intracellular localization. We hypothesized that the conserved arginine cluster (RRR) located within the
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This study examined whether the conserved arginine cluster present within the 29-amino acid insert of the long form of the D2 dopamine receptor (D2L-R) confers its predominant intracellular localization. We hypothesized that the conserved arginine cluster (RRR) located within the insert could act as an RXR-type endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retention signal. Arginine residues (R) within the cluster at positions 267, 268, and 269 were charge-reserved to glutamic acids (E), either individually or in clusters, thus generating single, double, and triple D2L-R mutants. Through analyses of cellular localization by confocal microscopy and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), radioligand binding assay, bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET2) β-arrestin 2 (βarr2) recruitment assay, and cAMP signaling, it was revealed that charge reversal of the R residues at all three positions within the motif impaired their colocalization with ER marker calnexin and led to significantly improved cell surface expression. Additionally, these data demonstrate that an R to glutamic acid (E) substitution at position 2 within the RXR motif is not functionally permissible. Furthermore, all generated D2L-R mutants preserved their functional integrity regarding ligand binding, agonist-induced βarr2 recruitment and Gαi-mediated signaling. In summary, our results show that the conserved arginine cluster within the 29-amino acid insert of third cytoplasmic loop (IC3) of the D2L-R appears to be the ER retention signal. Full article
Open AccessArticle New Insights into Mechanisms and Functions of Chemokine (C-X-C Motif) Receptor 4 Heteromerization in Vascular Smooth Muscle
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 971; doi:10.3390/ijms17060971
Received: 28 April 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
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Abstract
Recent evidence suggests that C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) heteromerizes with α1A/B-adrenoceptors (AR) and atypical chemokine receptor 3 (ACKR3) and that CXCR4:α1A/B-AR heteromers are important for α1-AR function in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). Structural determinants
[...] Read more.
Recent evidence suggests that C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) heteromerizes with α1A/B-adrenoceptors (AR) and atypical chemokine receptor 3 (ACKR3) and that CXCR4:α1A/B-AR heteromers are important for α1-AR function in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). Structural determinants for CXCR4 heteromerization and functional consequences of CXCR4:α1A/B-AR heteromerization in intact arteries, however, remain unknown. Utilizing proximity ligation assays (PLA) to visualize receptor interactions in VSMC, we show that peptide analogs of transmembrane-domain (TM) 2 and TM4 of CXCR4 selectively reduce PLA signals for CXCR4:α1A-AR and CXCR4:ACKR3 interactions, respectively. While both peptides inhibit CXCL12-induced chemotaxis, only the TM2 peptide inhibits phenylephrine-induced Ca2+-fluxes, contraction of VSMC and reduces efficacy of phenylephrine to constrict isolated arteries. In a Cre-loxP mouse model to delete CXCR4 in VSMC, we observed 60% knockdown of CXCR4. PLA signals for CXCR4:α1A/B-AR and CXCR4:ACKR3 interactions in VSMC, however, remained constant. Our observations point towards TM2/4 of CXCR4 as possible contact sites for heteromerization and suggest that TM-derived peptide analogs permit selective targeting of CXCR4 heteromers. A molecular dynamics simulation of a receptor complex in which the CXCR4 homodimer interacts with α1A-AR via TM2 and with ACKR3 via TM4 is presented. Our findings further imply that CXCR4:α1A-AR heteromers are important for intrinsic α1-AR function in intact arteries and provide initial and unexpected insights into the regulation of CXCR4 heteromerization in VSMC. Full article
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Open AccessReview G Protein-Coupled Receptor Signaling in Stem Cells and Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(5), 707; doi:10.3390/ijms17050707
Received: 1 March 2016 / Revised: 5 May 2016 / Accepted: 5 May 2016 / Published: 11 May 2016
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Abstract
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are a large superfamily of cell-surface signaling proteins that bind extracellular ligands and transduce signals into cells via heterotrimeric G proteins. GPCRs are highly tractable drug targets. Aberrant expression of GPCRs and G proteins has been observed in various
[...] Read more.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are a large superfamily of cell-surface signaling proteins that bind extracellular ligands and transduce signals into cells via heterotrimeric G proteins. GPCRs are highly tractable drug targets. Aberrant expression of GPCRs and G proteins has been observed in various cancers and their importance in cancer stem cells has begun to be appreciated. We have recently reported essential roles for G protein-coupled receptor 84 (GPR84) and G protein subunit Gαq in the maintenance of cancer stem cells in acute myeloid leukemia. This review will discuss how GPCRs and G proteins regulate stem cells with a focus on cancer stem cells, as well as their implications for the development of novel targeted cancer therapies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle RTN3 Regulates the Expression Level of Chemokine Receptor CXCR4 and is Required for Migration of Primordial Germ Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(4), 382; doi:10.3390/ijms17040382
Received: 6 January 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2016 / Published: 8 April 2016
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Abstract
CXCR4 is a crucial chemokine receptor that plays key roles in primordial germ cell (PGC) homing. To further characterize the CXCR4-mediated migration of PGCs, we screened CXCR4-interacting proteins using yeast two-hybrid screening. We identified reticulon3 (RTN3), a member of the reticulon family, and
[...] Read more.
CXCR4 is a crucial chemokine receptor that plays key roles in primordial germ cell (PGC) homing. To further characterize the CXCR4-mediated migration of PGCs, we screened CXCR4-interacting proteins using yeast two-hybrid screening. We identified reticulon3 (RTN3), a member of the reticulon family, and considered an apoptotic signal transducer, as able to interact directly with CXCR4. Furthermore, we discovered that the mRNA and protein expression levels of CXCR4 could be regulated by RTN3. We also found that RTN3 altered CXCR4 translocation and localization. Moreover, increasing the signaling of either CXCR4b or RTN3 produced similar PGC mislocalization phenotypes in zebrafish. These results suggested that RTN3 modulates PGC migration through interaction with, and regulation of, CXCR4. Full article
Open AccessReview Nutritional Signaling via Free Fatty Acid Receptors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(4), 450; doi:10.3390/ijms17040450
Received: 28 January 2016 / Revised: 7 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (666 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Excess energy is stored primarily as triglycerides, which are mobilized when demand for energy arises. Dysfunction of energy balance by excess food intake leads to metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. Free fatty acids (FFAs) provided by dietary fat are not only
[...] Read more.
Excess energy is stored primarily as triglycerides, which are mobilized when demand for energy arises. Dysfunction of energy balance by excess food intake leads to metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. Free fatty acids (FFAs) provided by dietary fat are not only important nutrients, but also contribute key physiological functions via FFA receptor (FFAR)-mediated signaling molecules, which depend on FFAs’ carbon chain length and the ligand specificity of the receptors. Functional analyses have revealed that FFARs are critical for metabolic functions, such as peptide hormone secretion and inflammation, and contribute to energy homeostasis. In particular, recent studies have shown that the administration of selective agonists of G protein-coupled receptor (GPR) 40 and GPR120 improved glucose metabolism and systemic metabolic disorders. Furthermore, the anti-inflammation and energy metabolism effects of short chain FAs have been linked to the activation of GPR41 and GPR43. In this review, we summarize recent progress in research on FFAs and their physiological roles in the regulation of energy metabolism. Full article
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Open AccessReview Function and Regulation of Heterotrimeric G Proteins during Chemotaxis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(1), 90; doi:10.3390/ijms17010090
Received: 28 November 2015 / Revised: 22 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 14 January 2016
PDF Full-text (2070 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chemotaxis, or directional movement towards an extracellular gradient of chemicals, is necessary for processes as diverse as finding nutrients, the immune response, metastasis and wound healing. Activation of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) is at the very base of the chemotactic signaling pathway. Chemotaxis
[...] Read more.
Chemotaxis, or directional movement towards an extracellular gradient of chemicals, is necessary for processes as diverse as finding nutrients, the immune response, metastasis and wound healing. Activation of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) is at the very base of the chemotactic signaling pathway. Chemotaxis starts with binding of the chemoattractant to GPCRs at the cell-surface, which finally leads to major changes in the cytoskeleton and directional cell movement towards the chemoattractant. Many chemotaxis pathways that are directly regulated by Gβγ have been identified and studied extensively; however, whether Gα is just a handle that regulates the release of Gβγ or whether Gα has its own set of distinct chemotactic effectors, is only beginning to be understood. In this review, we will discuss the different levels of regulation in GPCR signaling and the downstream pathways that are essential for proper chemotaxis. Full article
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Open AccessReview Transactivation of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor by G Protein-Coupled Receptors: Recent Progress, Challenges and Future Research
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(1), 95; doi:10.3390/ijms17010095
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 6 January 2016 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 12 January 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (680 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Both G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and receptor-tyrosine kinases (RTKs) regulate large signaling networks, control multiple cell functions and are implicated in many diseases including various cancers. Both of them are also the top therapeutic targets for disease treatment. The discovery of the cross-talk
[...] Read more.
Both G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and receptor-tyrosine kinases (RTKs) regulate large signaling networks, control multiple cell functions and are implicated in many diseases including various cancers. Both of them are also the top therapeutic targets for disease treatment. The discovery of the cross-talk between GPCRs and RTKs connects these two vast signaling networks and complicates the already complicated signaling networks that regulate cell signaling and function. In this review, we focus on the transactivation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a subfamily of RTKs, by GPCRs. Since the first report of EGFR transactivation by GPCR, significant progress has been made including the elucidation of the mechanisms underlying the transactivation. Here, we first provide a basic picture for GPCR, EGFR and EGFR transactivation by GPCR. We then discuss the progress made in the last five years and finally provided our view of the future challenge and future researches needed to overcome these challenges. Full article
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2015

Jump to: 2016, 2014, 2013

Open AccessArticle Protective Role of Proton-Sensing TDAG8 in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Lung Injury
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(12), 28931-28942; doi:10.3390/ijms161226145
Received: 9 October 2015 / Revised: 22 November 2015 / Accepted: 27 November 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
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Abstract
Acute lung injury is characterized by the infiltration of neutrophils into lungs and the subsequent impairment of lung function. Here we explored the role of TDAG8 in lung injury induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administrated intratracheally. In this model, cytokines and chemokines released from
[...] Read more.
Acute lung injury is characterized by the infiltration of neutrophils into lungs and the subsequent impairment of lung function. Here we explored the role of TDAG8 in lung injury induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administrated intratracheally. In this model, cytokines and chemokines released from resident macrophages are shown to cause neutrophilic inflammation in the lungs. We found that LPS treatment increased TDAG8 expression in the lungs and confirmed its expression in resident macrophages in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids. LPS administration remarkably increased neutrophil accumulation without appreciable change in the resident macrophages, which was associated with increased penetration of blood proteins into BAL fluids, interstitial accumulation of inflammatory cells, and damage of the alveolar architecture. The LPS-induced neutrophil accumulation and the associated lung damage were enhanced in TDAG8-deficient mice as compared with those in wild-type mice. LPS also increased several mRNA and protein expressions of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the lungs or BAL fluids. Among these inflammatory mediators, mRNA and protein expression of KC (also known as CXCL1), a chemokine of neutrophils, were significantly enhanced by TDAG8 deficiency. We conclude that TDAG8 is a negative regulator for lung neutrophilic inflammation and injury, in part, through the inhibition of chemokine production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle G Protein-Coupled Receptor 87 (GPR87) Promotes Cell Proliferation in Human Bladder Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(10), 24319-24331; doi:10.3390/ijms161024319
Received: 3 July 2015 / Revised: 21 September 2015 / Accepted: 24 September 2015 / Published: 14 October 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2709 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
G protein-coupled receptor 87 (GPR87) is a newly deorphanized member of the cell surface molecule G protein-coupled receptor family. GPR signaling was shown to play a role in promotion of cell growth and survival, metastasis, and drug resistance. The overexpression of GPR87 has
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G protein-coupled receptor 87 (GPR87) is a newly deorphanized member of the cell surface molecule G protein-coupled receptor family. GPR signaling was shown to play a role in promotion of cell growth and survival, metastasis, and drug resistance. The overexpression of GPR87 has also been reported in many malignant tumors including bladder cancer. The aim of the present study is to examine the effect of silencing GPR87 expression with a replication-deficient recombinant adenoviral vector expressing short hairpin RNA targeting GPR87 (Ad-shGPR87) and to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms in bladder cancer cells. Six GPR87-expressing human bladder cancer cells, HT1197, HT1376, J82, RT112, TCCSUP and UMUC3, were used. Infection with Ad-shGPR87 effectively downregulated the GPR87 expression, and significantly reduced the percentage of viable cells in 4 of 6 cell lines as detected by an MTT assay. Significant inhibition on cell proliferation with Ad-shGPR87 was observed in the wild-type p53 bladder cancer cell lines (HT1197, RT112, TCCSUP and UMUC3), but not in the mutant p53 cells (HT1376 and J82). As represented by a wild-type p53 RT112 cell, Ad-shGPR87 infection significantly enhanced p53 and p21 expression and caused caspase-dependent apoptosis. Furthermore, the treatment with Ad-shGPR87 exerted a significant antitumor effect against the GPR87-expressing RT112 xenografts. GPR87 appeared to be a promising target for gene therapy, and Ad-shGPR87 had strong antitumor effects, specifically anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects, against GPR87-expressing human bladder cancer cells. Full article
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Open AccessReview Novel Therapeutic GPCRs for Psychiatric Disorders
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(6), 14109-14121; doi:10.3390/ijms160614109
Received: 28 March 2015 / Revised: 25 May 2015 / Accepted: 9 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (962 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the most common targets of the neuropharmacological drugs in the central nervous system (CNS). GPCRs are activated by manifold neurotransmitters, and their activation in turn evokes slow synaptic transmission. They are deeply involved in multiple neurological and psychiatric
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G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the most common targets of the neuropharmacological drugs in the central nervous system (CNS). GPCRs are activated by manifold neurotransmitters, and their activation in turn evokes slow synaptic transmission. They are deeply involved in multiple neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. In the brain, the striatum is strongly innervated by the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and plays a central role in manifestation of psychiatric disorders. Recently, anatomical and comprehensive transcriptome analysis of the non-odorant GPCR superfamily revealed that the orphan GPCRs GPR88, GPR6, and GPR52, as well as dopamine D1 and D2 receptors and the adenosine A2a receptor, are the most highly enriched in the rodent striatum. Genetically engineered animal models and molecular biological studies have suggested that these striatally enriched GPCRs have a potential to be therapeutic psychiatric receptors. This review summarizes the current understanding of the therapeutic GPCR candidates for psychiatric disorders. Full article
Open AccessArticle Cholinergic Transactivation of the EGFR in HaCaT Keratinocytes Stimulates a Flotillin-1 Dependent MAPK-Mediated Transcriptional Response
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(3), 6447-6463; doi:10.3390/ijms16036447
Received: 23 February 2015 / Revised: 6 March 2015 / Accepted: 17 March 2015 / Published: 20 March 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1907 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Acetylcholine and its receptors regulate numerous cellular processes in keratinocytes and other non-neuronal cells. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors are capable of transactivating the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and, downstream thereof, the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade, which in turn regulates transcription of genes
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Acetylcholine and its receptors regulate numerous cellular processes in keratinocytes and other non-neuronal cells. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors are capable of transactivating the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and, downstream thereof, the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade, which in turn regulates transcription of genes involved in cell proliferation and migration. We here show that cholinergic stimulation of human HaCaT keratinocytes results in increased transcription of matrix metalloproteinase MMP-3 as well as several ligands of the epidermal growth factor family. Since both metalloproteinases and the said ligands are involved in the transactivation of the EGFR, this transcriptional upregulation may provide a positive feed-forward loop for EGFR/MAPK activation. We here also show that the cholinergic EGFR and MAPK activation and the upregulation of MMP-3 and EGF-like ligands are dependent on the expression of flotillin-1 which we have previously shown to be a regulator of MAPK signaling. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Importance of G Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 4 (GRK4) in Pathogenesis of Salt Sensitivity, Salt Sensitive Hypertension and Response to Antihypertensive Treatment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(3), 5741-5749; doi:10.3390/ijms16035741
Received: 30 October 2014 / Revised: 6 January 2015 / Accepted: 15 January 2015 / Published: 12 March 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (736 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Salt sensitivity is probably caused by either a hereditary or acquired defect of salt excretion by the kidney, and it is reasonable to consider that this is the basis for differences in hypertension between black and white people. Dopamine acts in an autocrine/paracrine
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Salt sensitivity is probably caused by either a hereditary or acquired defect of salt excretion by the kidney, and it is reasonable to consider that this is the basis for differences in hypertension between black and white people. Dopamine acts in an autocrine/paracrine fashion to promote natriuresis in the proximal tubule and thick ascending loop of Henle. G-protein receptor kinases (or GRKs) are serine and threonine kinases that phosphorylate G protein-coupled receptors in response to agonist stimulation and uncouple the dopamine receptor from its G protein. This results in a desensitisation process that protects the cell from repeated agonist exposure. GRK4 activity is increased in spontaneously hypertensive rats, and infusion of GRK4 antisense oligonucleotides attenuates the increase in blood pressure (BP). This functional defect is replicated in the proximal tubule by expression of GRK4 variants namely p.Arg65Leu, p.Ala142Val and p.Val486Ala, in cell lines, with the p.Ala142Val showing the most activity. In humans, GRK4 polymorphisms were shown to be associated with essential hypertension in Australia, BP regulation in young adults, low renin hypertension in Japan and impaired stress-induced Na excretion in normotensive black men. In South Africa, GRK4 polymorphisms are more common in people of African descent, associated with impaired Na excretion in normotensive African people, and predict blood pressure response to Na restriction in African patients with mild to moderate essential hypertension. The therapeutic importance of the GRK4 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was emphasised in the African American Study of Kidney Disease (AASK) where African-Americans with hypertensive nephrosclerosis were randomised to receive amlodipine, ramipril or metoprolol. Men with the p.Ala142Val genotype were less likely to respond to metoprolol, especially if they also had the p.Arg65Leu variant. Furthermore, in the analysis of response to treatment in two major hypertension studies, the 65Leu/142Val heterozygote predicted a significantly decreased response to atenolol treatment, and the 65Leu/142Val heterozygote and 486Val homozygote were associated in an additive fashion with adverse cardiovascular outcomes, independent of BP. In conclusion, there is considerable evidence that GRK4 variants are linked to impaired Na excretion, hypertension in animal models and humans, therapeutic response to dietary Na restriction and response to antihypertensive drugs. It may also underlie the difference in hypertension between different geographically derived population groups, and form a basis for pharmacogenomic approaches to treatment of hypertension. Full article
Open AccessArticle β-Hydroxybutyric Sodium Salt Inhibition of Growth Hormone and Prolactin Secretion via the cAMP/PKA/CREB and AMPK Signaling Pathways in Dairy Cow Anterior Pituitary Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(2), 4265-4280; doi:10.3390/ijms16024265
Received: 17 November 2014 / Revised: 16 January 2015 / Accepted: 9 February 2015 / Published: 16 February 2015
PDF Full-text (2267 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA) regulates the synthesis and secretion of growth hormone (GH) and prolactin (PRL), but its mechanism is unknown. In this study, we detected the effects of BHBA on the activities of G protein signaling pathways, AMPK-α activity, GH, and PRL
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β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA) regulates the synthesis and secretion of growth hormone (GH) and prolactin (PRL), but its mechanism is unknown. In this study, we detected the effects of BHBA on the activities of G protein signaling pathways, AMPK-α activity, GH, and PRL gene transcription, and GH and PRL secretion in dairy cow anterior pituitary cells (DCAPCs). The results showed that BHBA decreased intracellular cAMP levels and a subsequent reduction in protein kinase A (PKA) activity. Inhibition of PKA activity reduced cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation, thereby inhibiting GH and PRL transcription and secretion. The effects of BHBA were attenuated by a specific Gαi inhibitor, pertussis toxin (PTX). In addition, intracellular BHBA uptake mediated by monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) could trigger AMPK signaling and result in the decrease in GH and PRL mRNA translation in DCAPCs cultured under low-glucose and non-glucose condition when compared with the high-glucose group. This study identifies a biochemical mechanism for the regulatory action of BHBA on GH and PRL gene transcription, translation, and secretion in DCAPCs, which may be one of the factors that regulate pituitary function during the transition period in dairy cows. Full article

2014

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Open AccessReview Molecular Actions of Ovarian Cancer G Protein-Coupled Receptor 1 Caused by Extracellular Acidification in Bone
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(12), 22365-22373; doi:10.3390/ijms151222365
Received: 28 September 2014 / Revised: 13 November 2014 / Accepted: 17 November 2014 / Published: 3 December 2014
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Abstract
Extracellular acidification occurs under physiologic and pathologic conditions, such as exercise, ischemia, and inflammation. It has been shown that acidosis has various adverse effects on bone. In recent years there has been increasing evidence which indicates that ovarian cancer G protein-coupled receptor 1
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Extracellular acidification occurs under physiologic and pathologic conditions, such as exercise, ischemia, and inflammation. It has been shown that acidosis has various adverse effects on bone. In recent years there has been increasing evidence which indicates that ovarian cancer G protein-coupled receptor 1 (OGR1) is a pH-sensing receptor and mediates a variety of extracellular acidification-induced actions on bone cells and other cell types. Recent studies have shown that OGR1 is involved in the regulation of osteoclast differentiation, survival, and function, as well as osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Moreover, OGR1 also regulates acid-induced apoptosis of endplate chondrocytes in intervertebral discs. These observations demonstrate the importance of OGR1 in skeletal development and metabolism. Here, we provide an overview of OGR1 regulation ofosteoclasts, osteoblasts, and chondrocytes, and the molecular actions of OGR1 induced by extracellular acidification in the maintenance of bone health. Full article
Open AccessArticle Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Transactivation Is Required for Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Activation by Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptors in HaCaT Keratinocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(11), 21433-21454; doi:10.3390/ijms151121433
Received: 11 October 2014 / Revised: 13 November 2014 / Accepted: 17 November 2014 / Published: 21 November 2014
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Abstract
Non-neuronal acetylcholine plays a substantial role in the human skin by influencing adhesion, migration, proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes. These processes are regulated by the Mitogen-Activated Protein (MAP) kinase cascade. Here we show that in HaCaT keratinocytes all five muscarinic receptor subtypes are
[...] Read more.
Non-neuronal acetylcholine plays a substantial role in the human skin by influencing adhesion, migration, proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes. These processes are regulated by the Mitogen-Activated Protein (MAP) kinase cascade. Here we show that in HaCaT keratinocytes all five muscarinic receptor subtypes are expressed, but M1 and M3 are the subtypes involved in mitogenic signaling. Stimulation with the cholinergic agonist carbachol leads to activation of the MAP kinase extracellular signal regulated kinase, together with the protein kinase Akt. The activation is fully dependent on the transactivation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which even appears to be the sole pathway for the muscarinic receptors to facilitate MAP kinase activation in HaCaT cells. The transactivation pathway involves a triple-membrane-passing process, based on activation of matrix metalloproteases, and extracellular ligand release; whereas phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, Src family kinases or protein kinase C do not appear to be involved in MAP kinase activation. Furthermore, phosphorylation, ubiquitination and endocytosis of the EGF receptor after cholinergic transactivation are different from that induced by a direct stimulation with EGF, suggesting that ligands other than EGF itself mediate the cholinergic transactivation. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Human TAAR8 and Murine Taar8b Mediated Signaling Pathways and Expression Profile
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(11), 20638-20655; doi:10.3390/ijms151120638
Received: 3 August 2014 / Revised: 25 October 2014 / Accepted: 4 November 2014 / Published: 10 November 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (572 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The thyroid hormone derivative 3-iodothyronamine (3-T1AM) exerts metabolic effects in vivo that contradict known effects of thyroid hormones. 3-T1AM acts as a trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) agonist and activates Gs signaling in vitro. Interestingly, 3-T1
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The thyroid hormone derivative 3-iodothyronamine (3-T1AM) exerts metabolic effects in vivo that contradict known effects of thyroid hormones. 3-T1AM acts as a trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) agonist and activates Gs signaling in vitro. Interestingly, 3-T1AM-meditated in vivo effects persist in Taar1 knockout-mice indicating that further targets of 3-T1AM might exist. Here, we investigated another member of the TAAR family, the only scarcely studied mouse and human trace-amine-associated receptor 8 (Taar8b, TAAR8). By RT-qPCR and locked-nucleic-acid (LNA) in situ hybridization, Taar8b expression in different mouse tissues was analyzed. Functionally, we characterized TAAR8 and Taar8b with regard to cell surface expression and signaling via different G-protein-mediated pathways. Cell surface expression was verified by ELISA, and cAMP accumulation was quantified by AlphaScreen for detection of Gs and/or Gi/o signaling. Activation of G-proteins Gq/11 and G12/13 was analyzed by reporter gene assays. Expression analyses revealed at most marginal Taar8b expression and no gender differences for almost all analyzed tissues. In heart, LNA-in situ hybridization demonstrated the absence of Taar8b expression. We could not identify 3-T1AM as a ligand for TAAR8 and Taar8b, but both receptors were characterized by a basal Gi/o signaling activity, a so far unknown signaling pathway for TAARs. Full article
Open AccessReview G Protein-Coupled Receptors: Extranuclear Mediators for the Non-Genomic Actions of Steroids
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(9), 15412-15425; doi:10.3390/ijms150915412
Received: 24 June 2014 / Revised: 26 July 2014 / Accepted: 20 August 2014 / Published: 1 September 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (671 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Steroids hormones possess two distinct actions, a delayed genomic effect and a rapid non-genomic effect. Rapid steroid-triggered signaling is mediated by specific receptors localized most often to the plasma membrane. The nature of these receptors is of great interest and accumulated data suggest
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Steroids hormones possess two distinct actions, a delayed genomic effect and a rapid non-genomic effect. Rapid steroid-triggered signaling is mediated by specific receptors localized most often to the plasma membrane. The nature of these receptors is of great interest and accumulated data suggest that G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are appealing candidates. Increasing evidence regarding the interaction between steroids and specific membrane proteins, as well as the involvement of G protein and corresponding downstream signaling, have led to identification of physiologically relevant GPCRs as steroid extranuclear receptors. Examples include G protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30) for estrogen, membrane progestin receptor for progesterone, G protein-coupled receptor family C group 6 member A (GPRC6A) and zinc transporter member 9 (ZIP9) for androgen, and trace amine associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) for thyroid hormone. These receptor-mediated biological effects have been extended to reproductive development, cardiovascular function, neuroendocrinology and cancer pathophysiology. However, although great progress have been achieved, there are still important questions that need to be answered, including the identities of GPCRs responsible for the remaining steroids (e.g., glucocorticoid), the structural basis of steroids and GPCRs’ interaction and the integration of extranuclear and nuclear signaling to the final physiological function. Here, we reviewed the several significant developments in this field and highlighted a hypothesis that attempts to explain the general interaction between steroids and GPCRs. Full article
Open AccessArticle The G-Protein-Coupled Estrogen Receptor (GPER/GPR30) in Ovarian Granulosa Cell Tumors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(9), 15161-15172; doi:10.3390/ijms150915161
Received: 19 June 2014 / Revised: 15 August 2014 / Accepted: 21 August 2014 / Published: 27 August 2014
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Abstract
Ovarian granulosa cell tumors (GCTs) are thought to arise from cells of the ovarian follicle and comprise a rare entity of ovarian masses. We recently identified the G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER/GPR30) to be present in granulosa cells, to be regulated by gonadotropins in
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Ovarian granulosa cell tumors (GCTs) are thought to arise from cells of the ovarian follicle and comprise a rare entity of ovarian masses. We recently identified the G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER/GPR30) to be present in granulosa cells, to be regulated by gonadotropins in epithelial ovarian cancer and to be differentially expressed throughout folliculogenesis. Thus, supposing a possible role of GPER in GCTs, this study aimed to analyze GPER in GCTs. GPER immunoreactivity in GCTs (n = 26; n (primary diagnosis) = 15, n (recurrence) = 11) was studied and correlated with the main clinicopathological variables. Positive GPER staining was identified in 53.8% (14/26) of GCTs and there was no significant relation of GPER with tumor size or lymph node status. Those cases presenting with strong GPER intensity at primary diagnosis showed a significant reduced overall survival (p = 0.002). Due to the fact that GPER is regulated by estrogens, as well as gonadotropins, GPER may also be affected by endocrine therapies applied to GCT patients. Moreover, with our data supposing GPER to be associated with GCT prognosis, GPER might be considered as a possible confounder when assessing the efficacy of hormone-based therapeutic approaches in GCTs. Full article
Open AccessArticle Activation of mGluR5 Attenuates NMDA-Induced Neurotoxicity through Disruption of the NMDAR-PSD-95 Complex and Preservation of Mitochondrial Function in Differentiated PC12 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(6), 10892-10907; doi:10.3390/ijms150610892
Received: 17 April 2014 / Revised: 16 May 2014 / Accepted: 30 May 2014 / Published: 17 June 2014
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Abstract
Glutamate-mediated toxicity is implicated in various neuropathologic conditions, and activation of ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors is considered to be the most important mechanism. It has been reported that pharmacological saturation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) can facilitate N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) related
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Glutamate-mediated toxicity is implicated in various neuropathologic conditions, and activation of ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors is considered to be the most important mechanism. It has been reported that pharmacological saturation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) can facilitate N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) related signaling cascades, but the mechanism leading to mGluR-NMDAR interactions in excitotoxic neuronal injury has remained unidentified. In the present study, we investigated the role of mGluR5 in the regulation of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-induced excitotoxicity in differentiated PC12 cells. We found that activation of mGluR5 with the specific agonist R,S-2-chloro-5-hydroxyphenylglycine (CHPG) increased cell viability and inhibited lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release in a dose-dependent manner. CHPG also inhibited an increase in the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, attenuated cleavage of caspase-9 and caspase-3, and reduced apoptotic cell death after NMDA treatment. The NMDA-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, as indicated by mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and cytochrome c release, was also partly prevented by CHPG treatment. Furthermore, CHPG blocked the NMDA-induced interaction of NMDAR with postsynaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95), but had no effects on intracellular calcium concentrations. All these results indicated that activation of mGluR5 protects differentiated PC12 cells from NMDA-induced neuronal excitotoxicity by disrupting NMDAR-PSD-95 interaction, which might be an ideal target for investigating therapeutic strategies in various neurological diseases where excitotoxicity may contribute to their pathology. Full article
Open AccessArticle Estrogen Rapidly Enhances Incisional Pain of Ovariectomized Rats Primarily through the G Protein-Coupled Estrogen Receptor
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(6), 10479-10491; doi:10.3390/ijms150610479
Received: 20 April 2014 / Revised: 10 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 11 June 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (344 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It has become increasingly apparent that the pain threshold of females and males varies in an estrogen dependent manner. To investigate the modulation of pain by estrogen and the molecular mechanisms involved in this process. A total of 48 rats were ovariectomized (OVX).
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It has become increasingly apparent that the pain threshold of females and males varies in an estrogen dependent manner. To investigate the modulation of pain by estrogen and the molecular mechanisms involved in this process. A total of 48 rats were ovariectomized (OVX). At 14 and 20 days after OVX, rats were divided into eight groups: groups 1–4 were administered drugs intravenously (IV); groups 5–8 were administered through intrathecal (IT) catheter. Hind paw incision was made in all animals to determine incisional pain. Paw withdraw threshold (PWT) was tested prior to and 24 h after incision. The test drugs were applied 24 h after the incision. Rats were either IV or IT administered with: 17-β-estradiol (E2), G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER)-selective agonist (G1), GPER-selective antagonist (G15) and E2 (G15 + E2), or solvent. Before and 30 min after IV drug administration and 20 min during the IT catheter administration, PWT was tested and recorded. 24 h after incisional surgery, the PWT of all rats significantly decreased. Both in the IV group and IT group: administration of E2 and G1 significantly decreased PWT. Neither administration of G15 + E2 nor solvent significantly changed PWT. Estrogen causes rapid reduction in the mechanical pain threshold of OVX rats via GPER. Full article
Open AccessArticle The G Protein-Coupled Receptor Heterodimer Network (GPCR-HetNet) and Its Hub Components
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8570-8590; doi:10.3390/ijms15058570
Received: 19 December 2013 / Revised: 26 March 2014 / Accepted: 30 April 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (2142 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) oligomerization has emerged as a vital characteristic of receptor structure. Substantial experimental evidence supports the existence of GPCR-GPCR interactions in a coordinated and cooperative manner. However, despite the current development of experimental techniques for large-scale detection of GPCR heteromers,
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G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) oligomerization has emerged as a vital characteristic of receptor structure. Substantial experimental evidence supports the existence of GPCR-GPCR interactions in a coordinated and cooperative manner. However, despite the current development of experimental techniques for large-scale detection of GPCR heteromers, in order to understand their connectivity it is necessary to develop novel tools to study the global heteroreceptor networks. To provide insight into the overall topology of the GPCR heteromers and identify key players, a collective interaction network was constructed. Experimental interaction data for each of the individual human GPCR protomers was obtained manually from the STRING and SCOPUS databases. The interaction data were used to build and analyze the network using Cytoscape software. The network was treated as undirected throughout the study. It is comprised of 156 nodes, 260 edges and has a scale-free topology. Connectivity analysis reveals a significant dominance of intrafamily versus interfamily connections. Most of the receptors within the network are linked to each other by a small number of edges. DRD2, OPRM, ADRB2, AA2AR, AA1R, OPRK, OPRD and GHSR are identified as hubs. In a network representation 10 modules/clusters also appear as a highly interconnected group of nodes. Information on this GPCR network can improve our understanding of molecular integration. GPCR-HetNet has been implemented in Java and is freely available at http://www.iiia.csic.es/~ismel/GPCR-Nets/index.html. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Alpha-Bulges in G Protein-Coupled Receptors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7841-7864; doi:10.3390/ijms15057841
Received: 20 January 2014 / Revised: 2 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 6 May 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (6168 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agonist binding is related to a series of motions in G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that result in the separation of transmembrane helices III and VI at their cytosolic ends and subsequent G protein binding. A large number of smaller motions also seem to
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Agonist binding is related to a series of motions in G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that result in the separation of transmembrane helices III and VI at their cytosolic ends and subsequent G protein binding. A large number of smaller motions also seem to be associated with activation. Most helices in GPCRs are highly irregular and often contain kinks, with extensive literature already available about the role of prolines in kink formation and the precise function of these kinks. GPCR transmembrane helices also contain many α-bulges. In this article we aim to draw attention to the role of these α-bulges in ligand and G-protein binding, as well as their role in several aspects of the mobility associated with GPCR activation. This mobility includes regularization and translation of helix III in the extracellular direction, a rotation of the entire helix VI, an inward movement of the helices near the extracellular side, and a concerted motion of the cytosolic ends of the helices that makes their orientation appear more circular and that opens up space for the G protein to bind. In several cases, α-bulges either appear or disappear as part of the activation process. Full article
Open AccessReview Differential Signaling by Protease-Activated Receptors: Implications for Therapeutic Targeting
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(4), 6169-6183; doi:10.3390/ijms15046169
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 14 March 2014 / Accepted: 3 April 2014 / Published: 11 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (372 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Protease-activated receptors (PARs) are a family of four G protein-coupled receptors that exhibit increasingly appreciated differences in signaling and regulation both within and between the receptor class. By nature of their proteolytic self-activation mechanism, PARs have unique processes of receptor activation, “ligand” binding,
[...] Read more.
Protease-activated receptors (PARs) are a family of four G protein-coupled receptors that exhibit increasingly appreciated differences in signaling and regulation both within and between the receptor class. By nature of their proteolytic self-activation mechanism, PARs have unique processes of receptor activation, “ligand” binding, and desensitization/resensitization. These distinctive aspects have presented both challenges and opportunities in the targeting of PARs for therapeutic benefit—the most notable example of which is inhibition of PAR1 on platelets for the prevention of arterial thrombosis. However, more recent studies have uncovered further distinguishing features of PAR-mediated signaling, revealing mechanisms by which identical proteases elicit distinct effects in the same cell, as well as how distinct proteases produce different cellular consequences via the same receptor. Here we review this differential signaling by PARs, highlight how important distinctions between PAR1 and PAR4 are impacting on the progress of a new class of anti-thrombotic drugs, and discuss how these more recent insights into PAR signaling may present further opportunities for manipulating PAR activation and signaling in the development of novel therapies. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Rapid and Efficient Immunoenzymatic Assay to Detect Receptor Protein Interactions: G Protein-Coupled Receptors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(4), 6252-6264; doi:10.3390/ijms15046252
Received: 27 January 2014 / Revised: 10 March 2014 / Accepted: 1 April 2014 / Published: 11 April 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (719 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent one of the largest families of cell surface receptors, and are the target of at least one-third of the current therapeutic drugs on the market. Along their life cycle, GPCRs are accompanied by a range of specialized GPCR-interacting
[...] Read more.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent one of the largest families of cell surface receptors, and are the target of at least one-third of the current therapeutic drugs on the market. Along their life cycle, GPCRs are accompanied by a range of specialized GPCR-interacting proteins (GIPs), which take part in receptor proper folding, targeting to the appropriate subcellular compartments and in receptor signaling tasks, and also in receptor regulation processes, such as desensitization and internalization. The direction of protein-protein interactions and multi-protein complexes formation is crucial in understanding protein function and their implication in pathological events. Although several methods have been already developed to assay protein complexes, some of them are quite laborious, expensive, and, more important, they do not generate fully quantitative results. Herein, we show a rapid immunoenzymatic assay to quantify GPCR interactionswith its signaling proteins. The recently de-orphanized GPCR, GPR17, was chosen as a GPCR prototype to optimize the assay. In a GPR17 transfected cell line and primary oligodendrocyte precursor cells, GPR17 interaction with proteins involved in the typical GPCR regulation, such as desensitization and internalization machinery, was investigated. The obtained results were validated by co-immunoprecipitation experiments, confirming this new method as a rapid and quantitative assay to study protein-protein interactions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Single and Binge Methamphetamine Administrations Have Different Effects on the Levels of Dopamine D2 Autoreceptor and Dopamine Transporter in Rat Striatum
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(4), 5884-5906; doi:10.3390/ijms15045884
Received: 2 December 2013 / Revised: 15 March 2014 / Accepted: 25 March 2014 / Published: 8 April 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (659 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Methamphetamine (METH) is a central nervous system psychostimulant with a high potential for abuse. At high doses, METH causes a selective degeneration of dopaminergic terminals in the striatum. Dopamine D2 receptor antagonists and dopamine transporter (DAT) inhibitors protect against neurotoxicity of the drug
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Methamphetamine (METH) is a central nervous system psychostimulant with a high potential for abuse. At high doses, METH causes a selective degeneration of dopaminergic terminals in the striatum. Dopamine D2 receptor antagonists and dopamine transporter (DAT) inhibitors protect against neurotoxicity of the drug by decreasing intracellular dopamine content and, consequently, dopamine autoxidation and production of reactive oxygen species. In vitro, amphetamines regulate D2 receptor and DAT functions via regulation of their intracellular trafficking. No data exists on axonal transport of both proteins and there is limited data on their interactions in vivo. The aim of the present investigation was to examine synaptosomal levels of presynaptic D2 autoreceptor and DAT after two different regimens of METH and to determine whether METH affects the D2 autoreceptor-DAT interaction in the rat striatum. We found that, as compared to saline controls, administration of single high-dose METH decreased D2 autoreceptor immunoreactivity and increased DAT immunoreactivity in rat striatal synaptosomes whereas binge high-dose METH increased immunoreactivity of D2 autoreceptor and had no effect on DAT immunoreactivity. Single METH had no effect on D2 autoreceptor-DAT interaction whereas binge METH increased the interaction between the two proteins in the striatum. Our results suggest that METH can affect axonal transport of both the D2 autoreceptor and DAT in an interaction-dependent and -independent manner. Full article
Open AccessReview The Growth Hormone Secretagogue Receptor: Its Intracellular Signaling and Regulation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(3), 4837-4855; doi:10.3390/ijms15034837
Received: 28 January 2014 / Revised: 6 March 2014 / Accepted: 11 March 2014 / Published: 19 March 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR), also known as the ghrelin receptor, is involved in mediating a wide variety of biological effects of ghrelin, including: stimulation of growth hormone release, increase of food intake and body weight, modulation of glucose and lipid metabolism,
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The growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR), also known as the ghrelin receptor, is involved in mediating a wide variety of biological effects of ghrelin, including: stimulation of growth hormone release, increase of food intake and body weight, modulation of glucose and lipid metabolism, regulation of gastrointestinal motility and secretion, protection of neuronal and cardiovascular cells, and regulation of immune function. Dependent on the tissues and cells, activation of GHSR may trigger a diversity of signaling mechanisms and subsequent distinct physiological responses. Distinct regulation of GHSR occurs at levels of transcription, receptor interaction and internalization. Here we review the current understanding on the intracellular signaling pathways of GHSR and its modulation. An overview of the molecular structure of GHSR is presented first, followed by the discussion on its signaling mechanisms. Finally, potential mechanisms regulating GHSR are reviewed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Dimers of G-Protein Coupled Receptors as Versatile Storage and Response Units
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(3), 4856-4877; doi:10.3390/ijms15034856
Received: 7 January 2014 / Revised: 28 February 2014 / Accepted: 4 March 2014 / Published: 19 March 2014
PDF Full-text (543 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The status and use of transmembrane, extracellular and intracellular domains in oligomerization of heptahelical G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are reviewed and for transmembrane assemblies also supplemented by new experimental evidence. The transmembrane-linked GPCR oligomers typically have as the minimal unit an asymmetric ~180
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The status and use of transmembrane, extracellular and intracellular domains in oligomerization of heptahelical G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are reviewed and for transmembrane assemblies also supplemented by new experimental evidence. The transmembrane-linked GPCR oligomers typically have as the minimal unit an asymmetric ~180 kDa pentamer consisting of receptor homodimer or heterodimer and a G-protein αβγ subunit heterotrimer. With neuropeptide Y (NPY) receptors, this assembly is converted to ~90 kDa receptor monomer-Gα complex by receptor and Gα agonists, and dimers/heteropentamers are depleted by neutralization of Gαi subunits by pertussis toxin. Employing gradient centrifugation, quantification and other characterization of GPCR dimers at the level of physically isolated and identified heteropentamers is feasible with labeled agonists that do not dissociate upon solubilization. This is demonstrated with three neuropeptide Y (NPY) receptors and could apply to many receptors that use large peptidic agonists. Full article
Open AccessArticle Three Basic Residues of Intracellular Loop 3 of the Beta-1 Adrenergic Receptor Are Required for Golgin-160-Dependent Trafficking
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(2), 2929-2945; doi:10.3390/ijms15022929
Received: 6 December 2013 / Revised: 24 January 2014 / Accepted: 12 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2467 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Golgin-160 is a member of the golgin family of proteins, which have been implicated in the maintenance of Golgi structure and in vesicle tethering. Golgin-160 is atypical; it promotes post-Golgi trafficking of specific cargo proteins, including the β-1 adrenergic receptor (β1AR), a G
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Golgin-160 is a member of the golgin family of proteins, which have been implicated in the maintenance of Golgi structure and in vesicle tethering. Golgin-160 is atypical; it promotes post-Golgi trafficking of specific cargo proteins, including the β-1 adrenergic receptor (β1AR), a G protein-coupled receptor. Here we show that golgin-160 binds directly to the third intracellular loop of β1AR and that this binding depends on three basic residues in this loop. Mutation of the basic residues does not affect trafficking of β1AR from the endoplasmic reticulum through the Golgi complex, but results in reduced steady-state levels at the plasma membrane. We hypothesize that golgin-160 promotes incorporation of β1AR into specific transport carriers at the trans-Golgi network to ensure efficient delivery to the cell surface. These results add to our understanding of the biogenesis of β1AR, and suggest a novel point of regulation for its delivery to the plasma membrane. Full article
Open AccessReview Recent Progress in Understanding Subtype Specific Regulation of NMDA Receptors by G Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(2), 3003-3024; doi:10.3390/ijms15023003
Received: 26 November 2013 / Revised: 30 December 2013 / Accepted: 12 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (619 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
G Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of receptors whose ligands constitute nearly a third of prescription drugs in the market. They are widely involved in diverse physiological functions including learning and memory. NMDA receptors (NMDARs), which belong to the ionotropic
[...] Read more.
G Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of receptors whose ligands constitute nearly a third of prescription drugs in the market. They are widely involved in diverse physiological functions including learning and memory. NMDA receptors (NMDARs), which belong to the ionotropic glutamate receptor family, are likewise ubiquitously expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) and play a pivotal role in learning and memory. Despite its critical contribution to physiological and pathophysiological processes, few pharmacological interventions aimed directly at regulating NMDAR function have been developed to date. However, it is well established that NMDAR function is precisely regulated by cellular signalling cascades recruited downstream of G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) stimulation. Accordingly, the downstream regulation of NMDARs likely represents an important determinant of outcome following treatment with neuropsychiatric agents that target selected GPCRs. Importantly, the functional consequence of such regulation on NMDAR function varies, based not only on the identity of the GPCR, but also on the cell type in which relevant receptors are expressed. Indeed, the mechanisms responsible for regulating NMDARs by GPCRs involve numerous intracellular signalling molecules and regulatory proteins that vary from one cell type to another. In the present article, we highlight recent findings from studies that have uncovered novel mechanisms by which selected GPCRs regulate NMDAR function and consequently NMDAR-dependent plasticity. Full article
Open AccessTechnical Note G Protein-Coupled Receptor Signaling Analysis Using Homogenous Time-Resolved Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (HTRF®) Technology
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(2), 2554-2572; doi:10.3390/ijms15022554
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 17 January 2014 / Accepted: 28 January 2014 / Published: 13 February 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (683 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Studying multidimensional signaling of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in search of new and better treatments requires flexible, reliable and sensitive assays in high throughput screening (HTS) formats. Today, more than half of the detection techniques used in HTS are based on fluorescence, because
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Studying multidimensional signaling of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in search of new and better treatments requires flexible, reliable and sensitive assays in high throughput screening (HTS) formats. Today, more than half of the detection techniques used in HTS are based on fluorescence, because of the high sensitivity and rich signal, but quenching, optical interferences and light scattering are serious drawbacks. In the 1990s the HTRF® (Cisbio Bioassays, Codolet, France) technology based on Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) in a time-resolved homogeneous format was developed. This improved technology diminished the traditional drawbacks. The optimized protocol described here based on HTRF® technology was used to study the activation and signaling pathways of the calcium-sensing receptor, CaSR, a GPCR responsible for maintaining calcium homeostasis. Stimulation of the CaSR by agonists activated several pathways, which were detected by measuring accumulation of the second messengers D-myo-inositol 1-phosphate (IP1) and cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP), and by measuring the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2). Here we show how an optimized HTRF® platform with numerous advantages compared to previous assays provides a substantial and robust mode of investigating GPCR signaling. It is furthermore discussed how these assays can be optimized and miniaturized to meet HTS requirements and for screening compound libraries. Full article
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Open AccessReview Adenosine Receptors: Expression, Function and Regulation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(2), 2024-2052; doi:10.3390/ijms15022024
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 15 January 2014 / Accepted: 15 January 2014 / Published: 28 January 2014
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (1376 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adenosine receptors (ARs) comprise a group of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) which mediate the physiological actions of adenosine. To date, four AR subtypes have been cloned and identified in different tissues. These receptors have distinct localization, signal transduction pathways and different means of
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Adenosine receptors (ARs) comprise a group of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) which mediate the physiological actions of adenosine. To date, four AR subtypes have been cloned and identified in different tissues. These receptors have distinct localization, signal transduction pathways and different means of regulation upon exposure to agonists. This review will describe the biochemical characteristics and signaling cascade associated with each receptor and provide insight into how these receptors are regulated in response to agonists. A key property of some of these receptors is their ability to serve as sensors of cellular oxidative stress, which is transmitted by transcription factors, such as nuclear factor (NF)-κB, to regulate the expression of ARs. Recent observations of oligomerization of these receptors into homo- and heterodimers will be discussed. In addition, the importance of these receptors in the regulation of normal and pathological processes such as sleep, the development of cancers and in protection against hearing loss will be examined. Full article
Open AccessArticle Dopamine D4 Receptor Counteracts Morphine-Induced Changes in µ Opioid Receptor Signaling in the Striosomes of the Rat Caudate Putamen
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(1), 1481-1498; doi:10.3390/ijms15011481
Received: 30 November 2013 / Revised: 8 January 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2014 / Published: 21 January 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1442 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The mu opioid receptor (MOR) is critical in mediating morphine analgesia. However, prolonged exposure to morphine induces adaptive changes in this receptor leading to the development of tolerance and addiction. In the present work we have studied whether the continuous administration of morphine
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The mu opioid receptor (MOR) is critical in mediating morphine analgesia. However, prolonged exposure to morphine induces adaptive changes in this receptor leading to the development of tolerance and addiction. In the present work we have studied whether the continuous administration of morphine induces changes in MOR protein levels, its pharmacological profile, and MOR-mediated G-protein activation in the striosomal compartment of the rat CPu, by using immunohistochemistry and receptor and DAMGO-stimulated [35S]GTPγS autoradiography. MOR immunoreactivity, agonist binding density and its coupling to G proteins are up-regulated in the striosomes by continuous morphine treatment in the absence of changes in enkephalin and dynorphin mRNA levels. In addition, co-treatment of morphine with the dopamine D4 receptor (D4R) agonist PD168,077 fully counteracts these adaptive changes in MOR, in spite of the fact that continuous PD168,077 treatment increases the [3H]DAMGO Bmax values to the same degree as seen after continuous morphine treatment. Thus, in spite of the fact that both receptors can be coupled to Gi/0 protein, the present results give support for the existence of antagonistic functional D4R-MOR receptor-receptor interactions in the adaptive changes occurring in MOR of striosomes on continuous administration of morphine. Full article
Open AccessArticle Genetic Variants of GPER/GPR30, a Novel Estrogen-Related G Protein Receptor, Are Associated with Human Seminoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(1), 1574-1589; doi:10.3390/ijms15011574
Received: 25 November 2013 / Revised: 16 December 2013 / Accepted: 3 January 2014 / Published: 21 January 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (685 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are the most common solid cancers in young men, with an increasing incidence over several years. However, their pathogenesis remains a matter of debate. Some epidemiological data suggest the involvement of both environmental and genetic factors. We reported
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Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are the most common solid cancers in young men, with an increasing incidence over several years. However, their pathogenesis remains a matter of debate. Some epidemiological data suggest the involvement of both environmental and genetic factors. We reported two distinct effects of estrogens and/or xeno-estrogens on in vitro human seminoma-derived cells proliferation: (1) an antiproliferative effect via a classical estrogen receptor beta-dependent pathway, and (2) a promotive effect via a non-classical membrane G-protein-coupled receptor, GPR30/GPER, which is only overexpressed in seminomas, the most common TGCT. In order to explain this overexpression, we investigated the possible association of polymorphisms in the GPER gene by using allele-specific tetra-primer polymerase chain reaction performed on tissue samples from 150 paraffin-embedded TGCT specimens (131 seminomas, 19 non seminomas). Compared to control population, loss of homozygous ancestral genotype GG in two polymorphisms located in the promoter region of GPER (rs3808350 and rs3808351) was more frequent in seminomas but not in non-seminomas (respectively, OR = 1.960 (1.172–3.277) and 7.000 (2.747–17.840); p < 0.01). These polymorphisms may explain GPER overexpression and represent a genetic factor of susceptibility supporting the contribution of environmental GPER ligands in testicular carcinogenesis. Full article
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Open AccessReview G Protein-Coupled Receptors: What a Difference a ‘Partner’ Makes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(1), 1112-1142; doi:10.3390/ijms15011112
Received: 4 December 2013 / Revised: 20 December 2013 / Accepted: 8 January 2014 / Published: 16 January 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1172 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are important cell signaling mediators, involved in essential physiological processes. GPCRs respond to a wide variety of ligands from light to large macromolecules, including hormones and small peptides. Unfortunately, mutations and dysregulation of GPCRs that induce a loss of
[...] Read more.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are important cell signaling mediators, involved in essential physiological processes. GPCRs respond to a wide variety of ligands from light to large macromolecules, including hormones and small peptides. Unfortunately, mutations and dysregulation of GPCRs that induce a loss of function or alter expression can lead to disorders that are sometimes lethal. Therefore, the expression, trafficking, signaling and desensitization of GPCRs must be tightly regulated by different cellular systems to prevent disease. Although there is substantial knowledge regarding the mechanisms that regulate the desensitization and down-regulation of GPCRs, less is known about the mechanisms that regulate the trafficking and cell-surface expression of newly synthesized GPCRs. More recently, there is accumulating evidence that suggests certain GPCRs are able to interact with specific proteins that can completely change their fate and function. These interactions add on another level of regulation and flexibility between different tissue/cell-types. Here, we review some of the main interacting proteins of GPCRs. A greater understanding of the mechanisms regulating their interactions may lead to the discovery of new drug targets for therapy. Full article
Open AccessArticle Characterization of an Invertebrate-Type Dopamine Receptor of the American Cockroach, Periplaneta americana
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(1), 629-653; doi:10.3390/ijms15010629
Received: 29 November 2013 / Revised: 20 December 2013 / Accepted: 24 December 2013 / Published: 6 January 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1446 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have isolated a cDNA coding for a putative invertebrate-type dopamine receptor (Peadop2) from P. americana brain by using a PCR-based strategy. The mRNA is present in samples from brain and salivary glands. We analyzed the distribution of the PeaDOP2 receptor
[...] Read more.
We have isolated a cDNA coding for a putative invertebrate-type dopamine receptor (Peadop2) from P. americana brain by using a PCR-based strategy. The mRNA is present in samples from brain and salivary glands. We analyzed the distribution of the PeaDOP2 receptor protein with specific affinity-purified polyclonal antibodies. On Western blots, PeaDOP2 was detected in protein samples from brain, subesophageal ganglion, thoracic ganglia, and salivary glands. In immunocytochemical experiments, we detected PeaDOP2 in neurons with their somata being located at the anterior edge of the medulla bilaterally innervating the optic lobes and projecting to the ventro-lateral protocerebrum. In order to determine the functional and pharmacological properties of the cloned receptor, we generated a cell line constitutively expressing PeaDOP2. Activation of PeaDOP2-expressing cells with dopamine induced an increase in intracellular cAMP. In contrast, a C-terminally truncated splice variant of this receptor did not exhibit any functional property by itself. The molecular and pharmacological characterization of the first dopamine receptor from P. americana provides the basis for forthcoming studies focusing on the significance of the dopaminergic system in cockroach behavior and physiology. Full article

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Open AccessReview Chemokine Receptors in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(1), 361-376; doi:10.3390/ijms15010361
Received: 2 December 2013 / Revised: 17 December 2013 / Accepted: 19 December 2013 / Published: 31 December 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (376 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ovarian carcinoma is the deadliest gynecologic malignancy with very poor rate of survival, and it is characterized by the presence of vast incurable peritoneal metastasis. Studies of the role of chemokine receptors, a family of proteins belonging to the group of G protein-coupled
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Ovarian carcinoma is the deadliest gynecologic malignancy with very poor rate of survival, and it is characterized by the presence of vast incurable peritoneal metastasis. Studies of the role of chemokine receptors, a family of proteins belonging to the group of G protein-coupled receptors, in ovarian carcinoma strongly placed this family of membrane receptors as major regulators of progression of this malignancy. In this review, we will discuss the roles that chemokine-receptor interactions play to support angiogenesis, cell proliferation, migration, adhesion, invasion, metastasis, and immune evasion in progression of ovarian carcinoma. Data regarding the role that the chemokine receptors play in the disease progression accumulated insofar strongly suggest that this family of proteins could be good therapeutic targets against ovarian carcinoma. Full article
Open AccessReview βArrestins in Cardiac G Protein-Coupled Receptor Signaling and Function: Partners in Crime or “Good Cop, Bad Cop”?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(12), 24726-24741; doi:10.3390/ijms141224726
Received: 21 November 2013 / Revised: 12 December 2013 / Accepted: 13 December 2013 / Published: 18 December 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (384 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
βarrestin (βarr)-1 and -2 (βarrs) (or Arrestin-2 and -3, respectively) are universal G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) adapter proteins expressed abundantly in extra-retinal tissues, including the myocardium. Both were discovered in the lab of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry co-laureate Robert Lefkowitz, initially
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βarrestin (βarr)-1 and -2 (βarrs) (or Arrestin-2 and -3, respectively) are universal G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) adapter proteins expressed abundantly in extra-retinal tissues, including the myocardium. Both were discovered in the lab of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry co-laureate Robert Lefkowitz, initially as terminators of signaling from the β-adrenergic receptor (βAR), a process known as functional desensitization. They are now known to switch GPCR signaling from G protein-dependent to G protein-independent, which, in the case of βARs and angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R), might be beneficial, e.g., anti-apoptotic, for the heart. However, the specific role(s) of each βarr isoform in cardiac GPCR signaling and function (or dysfunction in disease), remain unknown. The current consensus is that, whereas both βarr isoforms can desensitize and internalize cardiac GPCRs, they play quite different (even opposing in certain instances) roles in the G protein-independent signaling pathways they initiate in the cardiovascular system, including in the myocardium. The present review will discuss the current knowledge in the field of βarrs and their roles in GPCR signaling and function in the heart, focusing on the three most important, for cardiac physiology, GPCR types (β1AR, β2AR & AT1R), and will also highlight important questions that currently remain unanswered. Full article
Open AccessArticle Acidosis Decreases c-Myc Oncogene Expression in Human Lymphoma Cells: A Role for the Proton-Sensing G Protein-Coupled Receptor TDAG8
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(10), 20236-20255; doi:10.3390/ijms141020236
Received: 16 August 2013 / Revised: 15 September 2013 / Accepted: 16 September 2013 / Published: 11 October 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1585 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Acidosis is a biochemical hallmark of the tumor microenvironment. Here, we report that acute acidosis decreases c-Myc oncogene expression in U937 human lymphoma cells. The level of c-Myc transcripts, but not mRNA or protein stability, contributes to c-Myc protein reduction under acidosis. The
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Acidosis is a biochemical hallmark of the tumor microenvironment. Here, we report that acute acidosis decreases c-Myc oncogene expression in U937 human lymphoma cells. The level of c-Myc transcripts, but not mRNA or protein stability, contributes to c-Myc protein reduction under acidosis. The pH-sensing receptor TDAG8 (GPR65) is involved in acidosis-induced c-Myc downregulation. TDAG8 is expressed in U937 lymphoma cells, and the overexpression or knockdown of TDAG8 further decreases or partially rescues c-Myc expression, respectively. Acidic pH alone is insufficient to reduce c-Myc expression, as it does not decrease c-Myc in H1299 lung cancer cells expressing very low levels of pH-sensing G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Instead, c-Myc is slightly increased by acidosis in H1299 cells, but this increase is completely inhibited by ectopic overexpression of TDAG8. Interestingly, TDAG8 expression is decreased by more than 50% in human lymphoma samples in comparison to non-tumorous lymph nodes and spleens, suggesting a potential tumor suppressor function of TDAG8 in lymphoma. Collectively, our results identify a novel mechanism of c-Myc regulation by acidosis in the tumor microenvironment and indicate that modulation of TDAG8 and related pH-sensing receptor pathways may be exploited as a new approach to inhibit Myc expression. Full article

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