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Biochemistry. 1998 May 12;37(19):6711-7.

Differential intracellular signaling of the GalR1 and GalR2 galanin receptor subtypes.

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  • 1Department of CNS/CV Biological Research, Schering-Plough Research Institute, Kenilworth, New Jersey 07033, USA.


The diverse physiological functions exerted by the neuropeptide galanin may be regulated by multiple G protein-coupled receptor subtypes and intracellular signaling pathways. Three galanin receptor subtypes (GalRs) have been recently cloned, but the G protein coupling profiles of these receptors are not completely understood. We have generated GalR1- and GalR2-expressing Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines and systematically examined the potential for these two receptors to couple to the Gs, Gi, Go, and Gq proteins. Galanin did not stimulate an increase in cAMP levels in GalR1/CHO or GalR2/CHO cells, suggesting an inability of either receptor to couple to Gs. Galanin inhibited forskolin-stimulated cAMP production in GalR1/CHO cells by 70% and in GalR2/CHO cells by 30%, suggesting a strong coupling of GalR1 to Gi and a more modest coupling between GalR2 and Gi. GalR1 and GalR2 both mediated pertussis toxin-sensitive MAPK activity (2-3-fold). The stimulation mediated by GalR1 was inhibited by expression of the C-terminus of beta-adrenergic receptor kinase (beta ARKct), which specifically inhibits G beta gamma signaling, but was not affected by the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, bis[indolylmaleimide], or cellular depletion of PKC. In contrast, GalR2-mediated MAPK activation was not affected by beta ARKct expression but was abolished by inhibition of PKC activity. The data demonstrate that GalR1 is coupled to a Gibetagamma signaling pathway to mediate MAPK activation. In contrast, GalR2 utilizes a distinct signaling pathway to mediate MAPK activation, which is consistent with Go-mediated MAPK activation in CHO cells. Galanin was unable to stimulate inositol phosphate (IP) accumulation in CHO or COS-7 cells expressing GalR1. In contrast, galanin stimulated a 7-fold increase in IP production in CHO or COS-7 cells expressing GalR2. The GalR2-mediated IP production was not affected by pertussis toxin, suggesting a linkage of GalR2 with Gq/G11. Thus, the GalR1 receptor appears to activate only the Gi pathway. By contrast, GalR2 is capable of stimulating signaling which is consistent with activation of Go, Gq/G11, and Gi. The differential signaling profiles and the tissue distribution patterns of GalR1 and GalR2 may underlie the functional spectra of galanin action mediated by these galanin receptors and regulate the diverse physiological functions of galanin.

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