- GPR84 is an immune cell–expressed, proinflammatory receptor currently being assessed as a therapeutic target in conditions including fibrosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Although it was previously shown that the orthosteric GPR84 activators 2-HTP and 6-OAU promoted its interactions with arrestin-3, a G protein–biased agonist DL-175 did not. Here, we show that replacement of all 21 serine and threonine residues within i-loop 3 of GPR84, but not the two serines in the C-terminal tail, eliminated the incorporation of [32P] and greatly reduced receptor–arrestin-3 interactions promoted by 2-HTP.
- G protein-coupled receptor 35 (GPR35) is poorly characterized but nevertheless has been revealed to have diverse roles in areas including lower gut inflammation and pain. The development of novel reagents and tools will greatly enhance analysis of GPR35 functions in health and disease. Here, we used mass spectrometry, mutagenesis, and [32P] orthophosphate labeling to identify that all five hydroxy-amino acids in the C-terminal tail of human GPR35a became phosphorylated in response to agonist occupancy of the receptor and that, apart from Ser294, each of these contributed to interactions with arretin-3, which inhibits further G protein-coupled receptor signaling.
- CXCR4, a member of the family of chemokine-activated G protein–coupled receptors, is widely expressed in immune response cells. It is involved in both cancer development and progression as well as viral infection, notably by HIV-1. A variety of methods, including structural information, have suggested that the receptor may exist as a dimer or an oligomer. However, the mechanistic details surrounding receptor oligomerization and its potential dynamic regulation remain unclear. Using both biochemical and biophysical means, we confirm that CXCR4 can exist as a mixture of monomers, dimers, and higher-order oligomers in cell membranes and show that oligomeric structure becomes more complex as receptor expression levels increase.
- 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 (Gαq and Gα11) 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).
- The short chain fatty acid receptor FFA2 is able to stimulate signaling via both Gi- and Gq/G11-promoted pathways. These pathways are believed to control distinct physiological end points but FFA2 receptor ligands appropriate to test this hypothesis have been lacking. Herein, we characterize AZ1729, a novel FFA2 regulator that acts as a direct allosteric agonist and as a positive allosteric modulator, increasing the activity of the endogenously produced short chain fatty acid propionate in Gi-mediated pathways, but not at those transduced by Gq/G11.
- Although rhodopsin-like G protein-coupled receptors can exist as both monomers and non-covalently associated dimers/oligomers, the steady-state proportion of each form and whether this is regulated by receptor ligands are unknown. Herein we address these topics for the M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor, a key molecular target for novel cognition enhancers, by using spatial intensity distribution analysis. This method can measure fluorescent particle concentration and assess oligomerization states of proteins within defined regions of living cells.
- Short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are produced in the gut by bacterial fermentation of poorly digested carbohydrates. A key mediator of their actions is the G protein-coupled free fatty acid 2 (FFA2) receptor, and this has been suggested as a therapeutic target for the treatment of both metabolic and inflammatory diseases. However, a lack of understanding of the molecular determinants dictating how ligands bind to this receptor has hindered development. We have developed a novel radiolabeled FFA2 antagonist to probe ligand binding to FFA2, and in combination with mutagenesis and molecular modeling studies, we define how agonist and antagonist ligands interact with the receptor.
- Background: The dopamine D3 receptor can form dimers/oligomers, but the molecular basis for this is poorly defined.Results: Molecular modeling, mutagenesis, and analysis of inactive state receptor crystal structures allowed assessment of models of receptor organization.Conclusion: The dopamine D3 receptor can assume different dimeric and a rhombic tetrameric arrangements.Significance: These findings provide understanding of the molecular basis of D3 receptor quaternary structure.
- Each subtype of the muscarinic receptor family of G protein-coupled receptors is activated by similar concentrations of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine or closely related synthetic analogs such as carbachol. However, pharmacological selectivity can be generated by the introduction of a pair of mutations to produce Receptor Activated Solely by Synthetic Ligand (RASSL) forms of muscarinic receptors. These display loss of potency for acetylcholine/carbachol alongside a concurrent gain in potency for the ligand clozapine N-oxide.