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J Biol Chem. 2000 Sep 22;275(38):29602-9.

Visualization of the calcitonin receptor-like receptor and its receptor activity-modifying proteins during internalization and recycling.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Miyazaki Medical College, Miyazaki 889-1692, Japan.


Expression of the calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CRLR) and its receptor activity modifying proteins (RAMPs) can produce calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptors (CRLR/RAMP1) and adrenomedullin (AM) receptors (CRLR/RAMP2 or -3). A chimera of the CRLR and green fluorescent protein (CRLR-GFP) was used to study receptor localization and trafficking in stably transduced HEK 293 cells, with or without co-transfection of RAMPs. CRLR-GFP failed to generate responses to CGRP or AM without RAMPs. Furthermore, CRLR-GFP was not found in the plasma membrane and its localization was unchanged after agonist exposure. When stably coexpressed with RAMPs, CRLR-GFP appeared on the cell surface and was fully active in intracellular cAMP production and calcium mobilization. Agonist-mediated internalization of CRLR-GFP was observed in RAMP1/CGRP or AM, RAMP2/AM, and RAMP3/AM, which occurred with similar kinetics, indicating the existence of ligand-specific regulation of CRLR internalization by RAMPs. This internalization was strongly inhibited by hypertonic medium (0.45 m sucrose) and paralleled localization of rhodamine-labeled transferrin, suggesting that CRLR endocytosis occurred predominantly through a clathrin-dependent pathway. A significant proportion of CRLR was targeted to lysosomes upon binding of the ligands, and recycling of the internalized CRLR was not efficient. In HEK 293 cells stably expressing CRLR-GFP and Myc-RAMPs, these rhodamine-labeled RAMPs were co-localized with CRLR-GFP in the presence and absence of the ligands. Thus, the CRLR is endocytosed together with RAMPs via clathrin-coated vesicles, and both the internalized molecules are targeted to the degradative pathway.

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