ABSTRACT: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are membrane receptors whose agonist-induced dynamic conformational changes trigger heterotrimeric G protein activation, followed by GRK-mediated phosphorylation and arrestin-mediated desensitization. Cytosolic regions of GPCRs have been studied extensively because they are direct contact sites with G proteins, GRKs, and arrestins. Among various cytosolic regions, the role of helix 8 is least understood, although a few studies have suggested that it is involved in G protein activation, receptor localization, and/or internalization. In the present study, we investigated the role of helix 8 in dopamine receptor signaling focusing on dopamine D1 receptor (D1R) and dopamine D2 receptor (D2R). D1R couples exclusively to Gs, whereas D2R couples exclusively to Gi. Bioinformatic analysis implied that the sequences of helix 8 may affect GPCR-G protein coupling selectivity; therefore, we evaluated if swapping helix 8 between D1R and D2R changed G protein selectivity. Our results suggest that helix 8 is not involved in D1R-Gs or D2R-Gi coupling selectivity. Instead, we observed that D1R with D2R helix 8 or D1R with an increased number of hydrophobic residues in helix 8 relative to wild-type showed diminished ?-arrestin-mediated desensitization, resulting in increased Gs signaling.
Project description:Based on the identification of residues that determine receptor selectivity of arrestins and the analysis of the evolution in the arrestin family, we introduced 10 mutations of "receptor discriminator" residues in arrestin-3. The recruitment of these mutants to M2 muscarinic (M2R), D1 (D1R) and D2 (D2R) dopamine, and ?(2)-adrenergic receptors (?(2)AR) was assessed using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer-based assays in cells. Seven of 10 mutations differentially affected arrestin-3 binding to individual receptors. D260K and Q262P reduced the binding to ?(2)AR, much more than to other receptors. The combination D260K/Q262P virtually eliminated ?(2)AR binding while preserving the interactions with M2R, D1R, and D2R. Conversely, Y239T enhanced arrestin-3 binding to ?(2)AR and reduced the binding to M2R, D1R, and D2R, whereas Q256Y selectively reduced recruitment to D2R. The Y239T/Q256Y combination virtually eliminated the binding to D2R and reduced the binding to ?(2)AR and M2R, yielding a mutant with high selectivity for D1R. Eleven of 12 mutations significantly changed the binding to light-activated phosphorhodopsin. Thus, manipulation of key residues on the receptor-binding surface modifies receptor preference, enabling the construction of non-visual arrestins specific for particular receptor subtypes. These findings pave the way to the construction of signaling-biased arrestins targeting the receptor of choice for research or therapeutic purposes.
Project description:We reconstituted D2 like dopamine receptor (D2R) and the delta opioid receptor (DOR) coupling to G-protein gated inwardly rectifying potassium channels (K(ir)3) and directly compared the effects of co-expression of G-protein coupled receptor kinase (GRK) and arrestin on agonist-dependent desensitization of the receptor response. We found, as described previously, that co-expression of a GRK and an arrestin synergistically increased the rate of agonist-dependent desensitization of DOR. In contrast, only arrestin expression was required to produce desensitization of D2R responses. Furthermore, arrestin-dependent GRK-independent desensitization of D2R-K(ir)3 coupling could be transferred to DOR by substituting the third cytoplasmic loop of DOR with that of D2R. The arrestin-dependent GRK-independent desensitization of D2R desensitization was inhibited by staurosporine treatment, and blocked by alanine substitution of putative protein kinase C phosphorylation sites in the third cytoplasmic loop of D2R. Finally, the D2R construct in which putative protein kinase C phosphorylation sites were mutated did not undergo significant agonist-dependent desensitization even after GRK co-expression, suggesting that GRK phosphorylation of D2R does not play an important role in uncoupling of the receptor.
Project description:The two highly homologous subtypes of stimulatory G proteins G?s (Gs) and G?olf (Golf) display contrasting expression patterns in the brain. Golf is predominant in the striatum, while Gs is predominant in the cortex. Yet, little is known about their functional distinctions. The dopamine D1 receptor (D1R) couples to Gs/olf and is highly expressed in cortical and striatal areas, making it an important therapeutic target for neuropsychiatric disorders. Using novel drug screening methods that allow analysis of specific G-protein subtype coupling, we found that, relative to dopamine, dihydrexidine and N-propyl-apomorphine behave as full D1R agonists when coupled to Gs, but as partial D1R agonists when coupled to Golf. The Gs/Golf-dependent biased agonism by dihydrexidine was consistently observed at the levels of cellular signaling, neuronal function, and behavior. Our findings of Gs/Golf-dependent functional selectivity in D1R ligands open a new avenue for the treatment of cortex-specific or striatum-specific neuropsychiatric dysfunction.
Project description:G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are capable of downstream signaling through distinct noncanonical pathways such as ?-arrestins in addition to the canonical G protein-dependent pathways. GPCR ligands that differentially activate the downstream signaling pathways are termed functionally selective or biased ligands. A class of novel non-catechol G protein-biased agonists of the dopamine D1 receptor (D1R) was recently disclosed. We conducted the first comprehensive structure-functional selectivity relationship study measuring GS and ?-arrestin2 recruitment activities focused on four regions of this scaffold, resulting in over 50 analogs with diverse functional selectivity profiles. Some compounds became potent full agonists of ?-arrestin2 recruitment, while others displayed enhanced GS bias compared to the starting compound. Pharmacokinetic testing of an analog with an altered functional selectivity profile demonstrated excellent blood-brain barrier penetration. This study provides novel tools for studying ligand bias at D1R and paves the way for developing the next generation of biased D1R ligands.
Project description:The D1- and D2-dopamine receptors (D1R and D2R), which signal through G<sub>s</sub> and G<sub>i</sub>, respectively, represent the principal stimulatory and inhibitory dopamine receptors in the central nervous system. D1R and D2R also represent the main therapeutic targets for Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, and many other neuropsychiatric disorders, and insight into their signaling is essential for understanding both therapeutic and side effects of dopaminergic drugs. Here, we report four cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of D1R-G<sub>s</sub> and D2R-G<sub>i</sub> signaling complexes with selective and non-selective dopamine agonists, including two currently used anti-Parkinson's disease drugs, apomorphine and bromocriptine. These structures, together with mutagenesis studies, reveal the conserved binding mode of dopamine agonists, the unique pocket topology underlying ligand selectivity, the conformational changes in receptor activation, and potential structural determinants for G protein-coupling selectivity. These results provide both a molecular understanding of dopamine signaling and multiple structural templates for drug design targeting the dopaminergic system.
Project description:G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) often activate multiple signaling pathways, and ligands may evoke functional responses through individual pathways. These unique responses provide opportunities for biased or functionally selective ligands to preferentially modulate one signaling pathway over another. Studies with several GPCRs have suggested that selective activation of signaling pathways downstream of a GPCR may lead to safer and more effective drug therapies. The dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) is one of the main drug targets in the therapies for Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia. Recent studies suggest that selective modulation of individual signaling pathways downstream of the D2R may lead to safer antipsychotic drugs. In the present study, immediate effectors of the D2R (i.e., G?i/o, G??, ?-arrestin recruitment) and more complex signaling pathways (i.e., extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation, heterologous sensitization, and dynamic mass redistribution) were examined in response to a series of D2R ligands. This was accomplished using Chinese hamster ovary cells stably expressing the human D2L dopamine receptor in the PathHunter ?-Arrestin GPCR Assay Platform. The use of a uniform cellular background was designed to eliminate potential confounds associated with cell-to-cell variability, including expression levels of receptor as well as other components of signal transduction, including G protein subunits. Several well characterized and clinically relevant D2R ligands were evaluated across each signaling pathway in this cellular model. The most commonly used methods to measure ligand bias were compared. Functional selectivity analyses were also used as tools to explore the relative contribution of immediate D2R effectors for the activation of more complex signaling pathways.
Project description:The dopamine D2 receptor (D2R), like many G-protein-coupled receptors, signals through G-protein- and β-arrestin-dependent pathways. Preferential activation of one of these pathways is termed functional selectivity or biased signaling and is a promising therapeutic strategy. Though biased signaling through D2Rs has been demonstrated, acquiring the mechanistic details of biased D2R/G-protein and D2R/β-arrestin signaling in vivo has been challenging because of the lack of techniques that specifically target these interactions in discrete cell populations. To address this question, we employed a cell type-specific viral expression approach to restore D2R variants that preferentially engage either G-protein or β-arrestin signaling in 'indirect pathway' medium spiny neurons (iMSNs), because of their central role in dopamine circuitry. We found that the effect of haloperidol antagonism on D2R metabolic signaling events is largely mediated by acute blockade of D2R/G-protein signaling. We show that a D2R-driven behavior, nestlet shredding, is similarly driven by D2R/G-protein signaling. On the other hand, D2R-driven locomotion and rearing require coordinated D2R/G-protein and D2R/β-arrestin signaling. The acute locomotor response to amphetamine and cocaine similarly depend on both G-protein and β-arrestin D2R signaling. Surprisingly, another psychotropic drug, phencyclidine, displayed a selective D2R/β-arrestin potentiation of locomotion. These findings highlight how D2R mostly relies upon balanced G-protein and β-arrestin signaling in iMSNs. However, the response to haloperidol and phencyclidine indicates that normal D2R signaling homeostasis can be dramatically altered, indicating that targeting a specific D2R signal transduction pathway could allow for more precise modulation of dopamine circuit function.
Project description:Akt is a serine/threonine kinase, which is dramatically reduced in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of patients with schizophrenia, and a deficiency in Akt1 results in PFC function abnormalities. Although the importance of Akt in dopamine (DA) transmission is well established, how impaired Akt signaling affects the DA modulation of synaptic transmission in the PFC has not been characterized. Here we show that Akt inhibitors significantly decreased receptor sensitivity to DA by shifting DA modulation of GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in prefrontal cortical neurons. Akt inhibition caused a significant decrease in synaptic dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) levels with high-dose DA exposure. In addition, Akt inhibition failed to affect DA modulation of IPSCs after blockade of ?-arrestin 2. ?-arrestin 2-mediated interaction of clathrin with D2R was enhanced by co-application of a Akt inhibitor and DA. Taken together, the reduced response in DA modulation of inhibitory transmission mainly involved ?-arrestin 2-dependent D2R desensitization.
Project description:Crystal structures of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) ligand complexes allow a rational design of novel molecular probes and drugs. Here we report the structure-guided design, chemical synthesis and biological investigations of bivalent ligands for dopamine D2 receptor/neurotensin NTS1 receptor (D2R/NTS1R) heterodimers. The compounds of types 1-3 consist of three different D2R pharmacophores bound to an affinity-generating lipophilic appendage, a polyethylene glycol-based linker and the NTS1R agonist NT(8-13). The bivalent ligands show binding affinity in the picomolar range for cells coexpressing both GPCRs and unprecedented selectivity (up to three orders of magnitude), compared with cells that only express D2Rs. A functional switch is observed for the bivalent ligands 3b,c inhibiting cAMP formation in cells singly expressing D2Rs but stimulating cAMP accumulation in D2R/NTS1R-coexpressing cells. Moreover, the newly synthesized bivalent ligands show a strong, predominantly NTS1R-mediated ?-arrestin-2 recruitment at the D2R/NTS1R-coexpressing cells.
Project description:Selective activation of dopamine D1 receptors (D1Rs) has been pursued for 40 years as a therapeutic strategy for neurologic and psychiatric diseases due to the fundamental role of D1Rs in motor function, reward processing, and cognition. All known D1R-selective agonists are catechols, which are rapidly metabolized and desensitize the D1R after prolonged exposure, reducing agonist response. As such, drug-like selective D1R agonists have remained elusive. Here we report a novel series of selective, potent non-catechol D1R agonists with promising in vivo pharmacokinetic properties. These ligands stimulate adenylyl cyclase signaling and are efficacious in a rodent model of Parkinson's disease after oral administration. They exhibit distinct binding to the D1R orthosteric site and a novel functional profile including minimal receptor desensitization, reduced recruitment of ?-arrestin, and sustained in vivo efficacy. These results reveal a novel class of D1 agonists with favorable drug-like properties, and define the molecular basis for catechol-specific recruitment of ?-arrestin to D1Rs.