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J Biol Chem. 2003 Feb 7;278(6):4277-85. Epub 2002 Dec 2.

Phosphorylation of key serine residues is required for internalization of the complement 5a (C5a) anaphylatoxin receptor via a beta-arrestin, dynamin, and clathrin-dependent pathway.

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Département de Réponse et Dynamique Cellulaires/Biochimie et Biophysique des Systèmes Intégrés, (UMR 5092, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA)/CNRS/Université Joseph Fourier), CEA/Grenoble, 17 rue des Martyrs, France.


The human complement 5a (C5a) anaphylatoxin receptor (CD88) is a G protein-coupled receptor involved in innate host defense and inflammation. Upon agonist binding, C5a receptor (C5aR) undergoes rapid phosphorylation on the six serine residues present in the C-terminal region followed by desensitization and internalization. Using confocal immunofluorescence microscopy and green fluorescent protein-tagged beta-arrestins (beta-arr 1- and beta-arr 2-EGFP) we show a persistent complex between C5aR and beta-arrestins to endosomal compartments. Serine residues in the C5aR C terminus were identified that control the intracellular trafficking of the C5aR-arrestin complex in response to C5a. Two phosphorylation mutants C5aR-A(314,317,327,332) and C5aR-A(314,317,332,334), which are phosphorylated only on Ser(334)/Ser(338) and Ser(327)/Ser(338), respectively, recruited beta-arr 1 and were internalized. In contrast, the phosphorylation-deficient receptors C5aR-A(334,338) and C5aR-A(332,334,338) were not internalized even though observations by confocal microscopy indicated that beta-arr 1-EGFP and/or beta-arr 2-EGFP could be recruited to the plasma membrane. Altogether the results indicate that C5aR activation is able to promote a loose association with beta-arrestins, but phosphorylation of either Ser(334)/Ser(338) or Ser(327)/Ser(338) is necessary and sufficient for the formation of a persistent complex. In addition, it was observed that C5aR endocytosis was inhibited by the expression of the dominant negative mutants of dynamin (K44E) and beta-arrestin 1 (beta-arr 1-(319-418)-EGFP). Thus, the results suggest that the C5aR is internalized via a pathway dependent on beta-arrestin, clathrin, and dynamin.

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