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Mol Endocrinol. 2005 Apr;19(4):1078-87. Epub 2005 Jan 6.

Beta-arrestin- and G protein receptor kinase-mediated calcium-sensing receptor desensitization.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66160, USA.


Extracellular calcium rapidly controls PTH secretion through binding to the G protein-coupled calcium-sensing receptor (CASR) expressed in parathyroid glands. Very little is known about the regulatory proteins involved in desensitization of CASR. G protein receptor kinases (GRK) and beta-arrestins are important regulators of agonist-dependent desensitization of G protein-coupled receptors. In the present study, we investigated their role in mediating agonist-dependent desensitization of CASR. In heterologous cell culture models, we found that the transfection of GRK4 inhibits CASR signaling by enhancing receptor phosphorylation and beta-arrestin translocation to the CASR. In contrast, we found that overexpression of GRK2 desensitizes CASR by classical mechanisms as well as through phosphorylation-independent mechanisms involving disruption of Galphaq signaling. In addition, we observed lower circulating PTH levels and an attenuated increase in serum PTH after hypocalcemic stimulation in beta-arrestin2 null mice, suggesting a functional role of beta-arrestin2-dependent desensitization pathways in regulating CASR function in vivo. We conclude that GRKs and beta-arrestins play key roles in regulating CASR responsiveness in parathyroid glands.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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