Differential effects of modification of membrane cholesterol and sphingolipids on the conformation, function, and trafficking of the G protein-coupled cholecystokinin receptor

Kaleeckal G. Harikumar, Vishwajeet Puri, Raman Deep Singh, Kentaro Hanada, Richard E. Pagano, Laurence J. Miller

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58 Scopus citations


The lipid microenvironment of receptors can influence their conformation, function, and regulation. Cholecystokinin (CCK)-stimulated signaling is abnormal in some forms of hyperlipidemia, suggesting the possibility of unique sensitivity to its lipid environment. Here we examined the influence of cholesterol and sphingolipids on CCK receptors in model Chinese hamster ovary cell systems having lipid levels modified. Cholesterol was modulated chemically or metabolically, and sphingolipids were modulated using a temperature-sensitive cell line (SPB-1). Receptor conformation was probed with a fluorescent full agonist ligand, Alesa 488-conjugated Gly-[Nle28,31]CCK-(26-33), shown previously to decrease in anisotropy and lifetime when occupying a receptor in the active conformation (Harikumar, K. G., Pinon, D. L., Weasels, W. S., Prendergast, F. G., and Miller, L. J. (2002) J. Biol. Chem. 277, 18552-18560). Anisotropy and lifetime of this probe were increased and prolonged with cholesterol enrichment, and decreased and shortened with depletion of cholesterol or sphingolipids. The increase in these parameters with cholesterol enrichment may reflect change in CCK receptor conformation toward its inactive, uncoupled state. Indeed, cholesterol enrichment resulted in nonproductive agonist ligand binding, with affinity of binding higher than normal and calcium signaling in response to this reduced. In cholesterol-and sphingolipid-depleted states, the receptor moved into conformations that were less than optimal. With cholesterol depletion, both ligand binding and signaling were decreased, yet internalization and trafficking were unperturbed. With sphingolipid depletion, ligand binding and signaling were normal, but internalization and trafficking were markedly inhibited. Of note, normal transferrin receptor trafficking through the same clathrin-dependent pathway was maintained under these conditions. Thus, lipid microenvironment of the CCK receptor is particularly important, with different lipids having distinct effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2176-2185
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 21 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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