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Biochemistry. 2004 Jun 15;43(23):7541-51.

Desensitization and internalization of metabotropic glutamate receptor 1a following activation of heterologous Gq/11-coupled receptors.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TD, UK.


In this study we characterized the heterologous desensitization and internalization of the metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR1) splice variants mGluR1a and mGluR1b following activation of endogenous G(q/11)-coupled receptors in HEK293 cells. Agonist activation of M1 muscarinic acetylcholine or P2Y1 purinergic receptors triggered the PKC- and CaMKII-dependent internalization of mGluR1a. In co-immunoprecipitation studies, both glutamate and carbachol increased the association of GRK2 with mGluR1a. Co-addition of the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor GF109203X and the Ca(2+) calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) inhibitor KN-93 blocked the ability of glutamate and carbachol to increase the association of GRK2 with mGluR1a. Glutamate also increased the association of GRK2 with mGluR1b, whereas carbachol did not. However, unlike mGluR1a, glutamate-stimulated association of GRK2 with mGluR1b was not reduced by PKC/CaMKII inhibition. Pretreatment of cells expressing mGluR1a or mGluR1b with carbachol rapidly desensitized subsequent glutamate-stimulated inositol phosphate accumulation. The carbachol-induced heterologous desensitization and internalization of mGluR1a was blocked by LY367385, an mGluR1a antagonist with inverse agonist activity. Furthermore, LY367385 blocked the ability of carbachol to increase the association of GRK2 with mGluR1a. On the other hand, LY367385 had no effect on the carbachol-induced desensitization and internalization of the nonconstitutively active mGluR1b splice variant. These results demonstrate that the internalization of mGluR1a, triggered homologously by glutamate or heterologously by carbachol, is PKC/CaMKII-, GRK2-, arrestin-, and clathrin-dependent and that PKC/CaMKII activation appears to be necessary for GRK2 to associate with mGluR1a. Furthermore, the heterologous desensitization of mGluR1a is dependent upon the splice variant being in an active conformation.

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