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J Biol Chem. 1996 Sep 6;271(36):22003-16.

Mechanisms of desensitization and resensitization of proteinase-activated receptor-2.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143-0660, USA.


Proteinase-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) is a G-protein-coupled receptor that is expressed by intestinal epithelial cells, which are episodically exposed to pancreatic trypsin in the intestinal lumen. Trypsin cleaves PAR-2 to expose a tethered ligand, which irreversibly activates the receptor. Thus, PAR-2 may desensitize and resensitize by novel mechanisms. We examined these mechanisms in kidney epithelial cells, stably expressing human PAR-2, and intestinal epithelial cells, which naturally express PAR-2. Trypsin stimulated a prompt increase in [Ca2+]i, due to mobilization of intracellular Ca2+, followed by a sustained plateau, due to influx of extracellular Ca2+. Repeated application of trypsin caused marked desensitization of this response, which is due in part to (a) irreversible cleavage of the receptor by trypsin and (b) protein kinase C-mediated termination of signaling. Trypsin exposure resulted in internalization of PAR-2 into early endosomes and then lysosomes; but endocytosis was not the mechanism of rapid desensitization. Thus, activated PAR-2 is endocytosed and degraded. The Ca2+ response to trypsin resensitized by 60-90 min. Brefeldin A, which disrupted Golgi stores of PAR-2, and cycloheximide, which inhibited protein synthesis, markedly attenuated resensitization. Thus, PAR-2-mediated Ca2+ mobilization desensitizes by irreversible receptor cleavage, protein kinase C-mediated termination of signaling, and PAR-2 targeting to lysosomes. It resensitizes by mobilization of large Golgi stores and synthesis of new receptors.

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