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J Immunol. 1999 Aug 15;163(4):2017-22.

Point mutation causing constitutive signaling of CXCR2 leads to transforming activity similar to Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus-G protein-coupled receptor.

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Department of Immunology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


The chemokine receptor CXCR2 is the closest homologue to Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus-G protein-coupled receptor (KSHV-GPCR), which is known to be constitutively activated and able to cause oncogenic transformation. Among G protein-coupled receptors, a DRY sequence in the second intracellular loop is highly conserved. However, the KSHV-GPCR shows a VRY sequence instead. In this study, we exchanged Asp138 of the DRY sequence in the CXCR2 with a Val (D138V), the corresponding amino acid in KSHV-GPCR, or with a Gln (D138Q), and investigated the functional consequences of these mutations. In focus formation and soft agar growth assays in NIH 3T3 cells, the D138V mutant exhibited transforming potential similar to the KSHV-GPCR. Surprisingly, the CXCR2 wild type itself showed transforming activity, although not as potently, due to continuous autocrine stimulation, whereas the D138Q mutant formed no foci. In agreement with these results were high levels of inositol phosphate accumulation in the D138V mutant and the KSHV-GPCR, indicating constitutive activity. These data emphasize the importance of the DRY sequence for G protein-coupled signaling of the CXCR2. Either constitutive activation or persistent autocrine stimulation of the CXCR2 causes transformation similar to KSHV-GPCR-transfected cells, probably activating the same signal transduction cascade that can abrogate normal growth control mechanisms.

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