Receptor phosphorylation has been implicated in desensitization responses to some agonist ligands, in which receptors may become uncoupled from G proteins and move into cellular compartments inaccessible to hydrophilic ligands. Understanding of the linkage between these processes, however, has come largely from recombinant receptor-bearing cell systems with consensus sites of kinase action mutagenized. We recently established methodology permitting direct assessment of sites of phosphorylation of the cholecystokinin receptor (CCKR) in its native milieu in the pancreatic acinar cell and in a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)-CCKR cell line (1, 2). Although CCK binding leads to phosphorylation of serine residues within the third intracellular loop of the receptor in both cell types, there are clear differences in the time course of phosphorylation, in the balance of action of kinases and a receptor phosphatase, and in a few of the distinct sites phosphorylated. In this work, we have directly assessed the inositol 1,4,5- triphosphate responses to CCK and desensitization of these responses in both cells. CHO cell lines expressing receptor mutants with protein kinase C consensus sites modified were also studied. CCK-stimulated inositol 1,4,5- triphosphate responses in both cells expressing wild-type receptors were rapidly and completely desensitized, associated with the onset of receptor phosphorylation. However, despite maintenance of the phosphorylated state of the receptor in the CHO-CCKR cell and its dephosphorylation returning the receptor to its basal state in the acinar cell, desensitization continued to be present in both. Mutagenesis of Ser260 and Ser264 to alanines individually reduced receptor phosphorylation by approximately 50%, whereas the dual mutant completely eliminated agonist-stimulated phosphorylation. Because other sites of phosphorylation were still intact in this construct, this raises the possibility of hierarchical phosphorylation with these two sites key in making other sites accessible to kinases. Constructs modifying Ser264 delayed the onset of desensitization, whereas all constructs proceeded to achieve complete desensitization by 10 min. Receptor internalization occurred independent of its phosphorylation state in the CHO cell lines, explaining the desensitization observed. In the acinar cell in which the receptor remains on the cell surface after agonist occupation, we postulate that receptor insulation achieves similar uncoupling from G protein association as is achieved by receptor phosphorylation early after agonist occupation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine