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J Biol Chem. 1999 Jan 22;274(4):2216-24.

The cytoplasmic tails of protease-activated receptor-1 and substance P receptor specify sorting to lysosomes versus recycling.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.


The G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) for thrombin, protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR1), is activated when thrombin cleaves its amino-terminal exodomain. The irreversibility of this proteolytic mechanism raises the question of how desensitization and resensitization are accomplished for thrombin signaling. PAR1 is phosphorylated, uncoupled from signaling, and internalized after activation like classic GPCRs. However, unlike classic GPCRs, which internalize and recycle, activated PAR1 is sorted to lysosomes. To identify the signals that specify the distinct sorting of PAR1, we constructed chimeras between PAR1 and the substance P receptor. Wild-type substance P receptor internalized and recycled after activation; PAR1 bearing the cytoplasmic tail of the substance P receptor (P/S) behaved similarly. By contrast, wild-type PAR1 and a substance P receptor bearing the cytoplasmic tail of PAR1 (S/P) sorted to lysosomes after activation. Consistent with these observations, PAR1 and the S/P chimera were effectively down-regulated by their respective agonists as assessed by both receptor protein levels and signaling. Substance P receptor and the P/S chimera showed little down-regulation. These data suggest that the cytoplasmic tails of PAR1 and substance P receptor specify their distinct intracellular sorting patterns after activation and internalization. Moreover, by altering the trafficking fates of PAR1 and substance P receptor, one can dictate the efficiency with which a cell maintains responsiveness to PAR1 or substance P receptor agonists over time.

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