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Special Issue "GRKs and Arrestins in Human Health and Disease"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pharmacology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2020.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The five non-visual G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs), acting together with the two non-visual arrestins (beta-arrestin-1 and -2), play fundamental roles in the regulation of signaling and function of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). GPCRs are by far the most populous and versatile family of receptors in the human genome, with more than one-third of currently used in clinical practice drugs being ligands for these receptors. GRKs and beta-arrestins regulate GPCR function by modulating receptor-stimulated G protein signaling but also by mediating most of the G protein-independent signaling of GPCRs. Additionally, GRKs and beta-arrestins have a growing number of previously unappreciated cellular effects that are not GPCR-dependent; e.g., GRKs can phosphorylate non-GPCR substrates. Given the extreme importance of the ~350 different non-sensory (i.e., druggable) human GPCRs in the physiology of every organ system of the human body, these two protein families of GPCR regulators (GRKs and beta-arrestins) represent attractive therapeutic targets for drug discovery and development. This Special Issue of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences is focused on studies that explore the functional roles of GRKs and arrestins in human physiology and disease. Novel pharmacological hypotheses and medicinal chemistry endeavors toward novel drug development are particularly encouraged for submission to this Special Issue. Original investigations, review articles, and short communications are all welcome. The following list of subtopics, although by no means exhaustive, is of particular interest:

  • signal transduction;
  • autonomic signaling;
  • Atherosclerosis;
  • cancer;
  • hypertension;
  • cognitive dysfunction/neurodegeneration;
  • heart failure;
  • cardiac arrhythmias;
  • metabolic syndrome/diabetes;
  • stem cell biology/physiology;
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome;
  • inflammation/autoimmune diseases;
  • cardiovascular endocrinology (e.g., adrenal gland and neuronal control of the circulation);
  • end-organ damage;
  • respiratory diseases;
  • reproductive (patho)physiology.

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should 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. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. 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 the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
β-Arrestin 2 and ERK1/2 Are Important Mediators Engaged in Close Cooperation between TRPV1 and µ-Opioid Receptors in the Plasma Membrane
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4626; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134626 - 29 Jun 2020
Abstract
The interactions between TRPV1 and µ-opioid receptors (MOR) have recently attracted much attention because these two receptors play important roles in pain pathways and can apparently modulate each other’s functioning. However, the knowledge about signaling interactions and crosstalk between these two receptors is [...] Read more.
The interactions between TRPV1 and µ-opioid receptors (MOR) have recently attracted much attention because these two receptors play important roles in pain pathways and can apparently modulate each other’s functioning. However, the knowledge about signaling interactions and crosstalk between these two receptors is still limited. In this study, we investigated the mutual interactions between MOR and TRPV1 shortly after their activation in HEK293 cells expressing these two receptors. After activation of one receptor we observed significant changes in the other receptor’s lateral mobility and vice versa. However, the changes in receptor movement within the plasma membrane were not connected with activation of the other receptor. We also observed that plasma membrane β-arrestin 2 levels were altered after treatment with agonists of both these receptors. Knockdown of β-arrestin 2 blocked all changes in the lateral mobility of both receptors. Furthermore, we found that β-arrestin 2 can play an important role in modulating the effectiveness of ERK1/2 phosphorylation after activation of MOR in the presence of TRPV1. These data suggest that β-arrestin 2 and ERK1/2 are important mediators between these two receptors and their signaling pathways. Collectively, MOR and TRPV1 can mutually affect each other’s behavior and β-arrestin 2 apparently plays a key role in the bidirectional crosstalk between these two receptors in the plasma membrane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GRKs and Arrestins in Human Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Antagonistic Roles of GRK2 and GRK5 in Cardiac Aldosterone Signaling Reveal GRK5-Mediated Cardioprotection via Mineralocorticoid Receptor Inhibition
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(8), 2868; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21082868 - 20 Apr 2020
Abstract
Aldosterone (Aldo), when overproduced, is a cardiotoxic hormone underlying heart failure and hypertension. Aldo exerts damaging effects via the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) but also activates the antiapoptotic G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) in the heart. G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-kinase (GRK)-2 and -5 are [...] Read more.
Aldosterone (Aldo), when overproduced, is a cardiotoxic hormone underlying heart failure and hypertension. Aldo exerts damaging effects via the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) but also activates the antiapoptotic G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) in the heart. G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-kinase (GRK)-2 and -5 are the most abundant cardiac GRKs and phosphorylate GPCRs as well as non-GPCR substrates. Herein, we investigated whether they phosphorylate and regulate cardiac MR and GPER. To this end, we used the cardiomyocyte cell line H9c2 and adult rat ventricular myocytes (ARVMs), in which we manipulated GRK5 protein levels via clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 and GRK2 activity via pharmacological inhibition. We report that GRK5 phosphorylates and inhibits the cardiac MR whereas GRK2 phosphorylates and desensitizes GPER. In H9c2 cardiomyocytes, GRK5 interacts with and phosphorylates the MR upon β2-adrenergic receptor (AR) activation. In contrast, GRK2 opposes agonist-activated GPER signaling. Importantly, GRK5-dependent MR phosphorylation of the MR inhibits transcriptional activity, since aldosterone-induced gene transcription is markedly suppressed in GRK5-overexpressing cardiomyocytes. Conversely, GRK5 gene deletion augments cardiac MR transcriptional activity. β2AR-stimulated GRK5 phosphorylates and inhibits the MR also in ARVMs. Additionally, GRK5 is necessary for the protective effects of the MR antagonist drug eplerenone against Aldo-induced apoptosis and oxidative stress in ARVMs. In conclusion, GRK5 blocks the cardiotoxic MR-dependent effects of Aldo in the heart, whereas GRK2 may hinder beneficial effects of Aldo through GPER. Thus, cardiac GRK5 stimulation (e.g., via β2AR activation) might be of therapeutic value for heart disease treatment via boosting the efficacy of MR antagonists against Aldo-mediated cardiac injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GRKs and Arrestins in Human Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
GRK2-Mediated Crosstalk Between β-Adrenergic and Angiotensin II Receptors Enhances Adrenocortical Aldosterone Production In Vitro and In Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020574 - 16 Jan 2020
Abstract
Aldosterone is produced by adrenocortical zona glomerulosa (AZG) cells in response to angiotensin II (AngII) acting through its type I receptors (AT1Rs). AT1R is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that induces aldosterone via both G proteins and the adapter [...] Read more.
Aldosterone is produced by adrenocortical zona glomerulosa (AZG) cells in response to angiotensin II (AngII) acting through its type I receptors (AT1Rs). AT1R is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that induces aldosterone via both G proteins and the adapter protein βarrestin1, which binds the receptor following its phosphorylation by GPCR-kinases (GRKs) to initiate G protein-independent signaling. β-adrenergic receptors (ARs) also induce aldosterone production in AZG cells. Herein, we investigated whether GRK2 or GRK5, the two major adrenal GRKs, is involved in the catecholaminergic regulation of AngII-dependent aldosterone production. In human AZG (H295R) cells in vitro, the βAR agonist isoproterenol significantly augmented both AngII-dependent aldosterone secretion and synthesis, as measured by the steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein and CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase) mRNA inductions. Importantly, GRK2, but not GRK5, was indispensable for the βAR-mediated enhancement of aldosterone in response to AngII. Specifically, GRK2 inhibition with Cmpd101 abolished isoproterenol’s effects on AngII-induced aldosterone synthesis/secretion, whereas the GRK5 knockout via CRISPR/Cas9 had no effect. It is worth noting that these findings were confirmed in vivo, since rats overexpressing GRK2, but not GRK5, in their adrenals had elevated circulating aldosterone levels compared to the control animals. However, treatment with the β-blocker propranolol prevented hyperaldosteronism in the adrenal GRK2-overexpressing rats. In conclusion, GRK2 mediates a βAR-AT1R signaling crosstalk in the adrenal cortex leading to elevated aldosterone production. This suggests that adrenal GRK2 may be a molecular link connecting the sympathetic nervous and renin-angiotensin systems at the level of the adrenal cortex and that its inhibition might be therapeutically advantageous in hyperaldosteronism-related conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GRKs and Arrestins in Human Health and Disease)
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