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      Targeted Elimination of G Proteins and Arrestins Defines Their Specific Contributions to Both Intensity and Duration of G Protein-coupled Receptor Signaling*

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          G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) can initiate intracellular signaling cascades by coupling to an array of heterotrimeric G proteins and arrestin adaptor proteins. Understanding the contribution of each of these coupling options to GPCR signaling has been hampered by a paucity of tools to selectively perturb receptor function. Here we employ CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to eliminate selected G proteins (Gα q and Gα 11) or arrestin2 and arrestin3 from HEK293 cells together with the elimination of receptor phosphorylation sites to define the relative contribution of G proteins, arrestins, and receptor phosphorylation to the signaling outcomes of the free fatty acid receptor 4 (FFA4). A lack of FFA4-mediated elevation of intracellular Ca 2+ in Gα q/Gα 11-null cells and agonist-mediated receptor internalization in arrestin2/3-null cells confirmed previously reported canonical signaling features of this receptor, thereby validating the genome-edited HEK293 cells. FFA4-mediated ERK1/2 activation was totally dependent on G q/ 11 but intriguingly was substantially enhanced for FFA4 receptors lacking sites of regulated phosphorylation. This was not due to a simple lack of desensitization of G q/ 11 signaling because the G q/ 11-dependent calcium response was desensitized by both receptor phosphorylation and arrestin-dependent mechanisms, whereas a substantially enhanced ERK1/2 response was only observed for receptors lacking phosphorylation sites and not in arrestin2/3-null cells. In conclusion, we validate CRISPR/Cas9 engineered HEK293 cells lacking G q/ 11 or arrestin2/3 as systems for GPCR signaling research and employ these cells to reveal a previously unappreciated interplay of signaling pathways where receptor phosphorylation can impact on ERK1/2 signaling through a mechanism that is likely independent of arrestins.

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          Most cited references 38

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          Fiji: an open-source platform for biological-image analysis.

          Fiji is a distribution of the popular open-source software ImageJ focused on biological-image analysis. Fiji uses modern software engineering practices to combine powerful software libraries with a broad range of scripting languages to enable rapid prototyping of image-processing algorithms. Fiji facilitates the transformation of new algorithms into ImageJ plugins that can be shared with end users through an integrated update system. We propose Fiji as a platform for productive collaboration between computer science and biology research communities.
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            beta-arrestin-dependent, G protein-independent ERK1/2 activation by the beta2 adrenergic receptor.

            Physiological effects of beta adrenergic receptor (beta2AR) stimulation have been classically shown to result from G(s)-dependent adenylyl cyclase activation. Here we demonstrate a novel signaling mechanism wherein beta-arrestins mediate beta2AR signaling to extracellular-signal regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK 1/2) independent of G protein activation. Activation of ERK1/2 by the beta2AR expressed in HEK-293 cells was resolved into two components dependent, respectively, on G(s)-G(i)/protein kinase A (PKA) or beta-arrestins. G protein-dependent activity was rapid, peaking within 2-5 min, was quite transient, was blocked by pertussis toxin (G(i) inhibitor) and H-89 (PKA inhibitor), and was insensitive to depletion of endogenous beta-arrestins by siRNA. beta-Arrestin-dependent activation was slower in onset (peak 5-10 min), less robust, but more sustained and showed little decrement over 30 min. It was insensitive to pertussis toxin and H-89 and sensitive to depletion of either beta-arrestin1 or -2 by small interfering RNA. In G(s) knock-out mouse embryonic fibroblasts, wild-type beta2AR recruited beta-arrestin2-green fluorescent protein and activated pertussis toxin-insensitive ERK1/2. Furthermore, a novel beta2AR mutant (beta2AR(T68F,Y132G,Y219A) or beta2AR(TYY)), rationally designed based on Evolutionary Trace analysis, was incapable of G protein activation but could recruit beta-arrestins, undergo beta-arrestin-dependent internalization, and activate beta-arrestin-dependent ERK. Interestingly, overexpression of GRK5 or -6 increased mutant receptor phosphorylation and beta-arrestin recruitment, led to the formation of stable receptor-beta-arrestin complexes on endosomes, and increased agonist-stimulated phospho-ERK1/2. In contrast, GRK2, membrane translocation of which requires Gbetagamma release upon G protein activation, was ineffective unless it was constitutively targeted to the plasma membrane by a prenylation signal (CAAX). These findings demonstrate that the beta2AR can signal to ERK via a GRK5/6-beta-arrestin-dependent pathway, which is independent of G protein coupling.
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              Beyond desensitization: physiological relevance of arrestin-dependent signaling.

              Heptahelical G protein-coupled receptors are the most diverse and therapeutically important family of receptors in the human genome. Ligand binding activates heterotrimeric G proteins that transmit intracellular signals by regulating effector enzymes or ion channels. G protein signaling is terminated, in large part, by arrestin binding, which uncouples the receptor and G protein and targets the receptor for internalization. It is clear, however, that heptahelical receptor signaling does not end with desensitization. Arrestins bind a host of catalytically active proteins and serve as ligand-regulated scaffolds that recruit protein and lipid kinase, phosphatase, phosphodiesterase, and ubiquitin ligase activity into the receptor-arrestin complex. Although many of these arrestin-bound effectors serve to modulate G protein signaling, degrading second messengers and regulating endocytosis and trafficking, other signals seem to extend beyond the receptor-arrestin complex to regulate such processes as protein translation and gene transcription. Although these findings have led to a re-envisioning of heptahelical receptor signaling, little is known about the physiological roles of arrestin-dependent signaling. In vivo, the duality of arrestin function makes it difficult to dissociate the consequences of arrestin-dependent desensitization from those that might be ascribed to arrestin-mediated signaling. Nonetheless, recent evidence generated using arrestin knockouts, G protein-uncoupled receptor mutants, and arrestin pathway-selective "biased agonists" is beginning to reveal that arrestin signaling plays important roles in the retina, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, bone remodeling, immune system, and cancer. Understanding the signaling roles of arrestins may foster the development of pathway-selective drugs that exploit these pathways for therapeutic benefit.

                Author and article information

                J Biol Chem
                J. Biol. Chem
                The Journal of Biological Chemistry
                American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (11200 Rockville Pike, Suite 302, Rockville, MD 20852-3110, U.S.A. )
                30 December 2016
                16 November 2016
                16 November 2016
                : 291
                : 53
                : 27147-27159
                From the []Centre for Translational Pharmacology, Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland, United Kingdom,
                the [§ ]Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8578, Japan, and
                the []Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO), Kawaguchi, Saitama 332-0012, Japan
                Author notes
                [1 ] To whom correspondence may be addressed: Wolfson Link Bld. 253, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland, UK. Tel.: 44-141-330-5557; Fax: 44-141-330-5481; E-mail: Elisa.Alvarez-Curto@ .
                [2 ] To whom correspondence may be addressed: Wolfson Link Bld. 253, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland, UK. Tel.: 44-141-330-5557; Fax: 44-141-330-5481; E-mail: Graeme.Milligan@ .

                Edited by Henrik Dohlman

                © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

                Author's Choice—Final version free via Creative Commons CC-BY license.

                Funded by: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
                Award ID: BB/K019864/1
                Award ID: BB/K019856/1
                Funded by: PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency
                Signal Transduction


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