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J Cell Biol. 2007 Jun 4;177(5):905-16. Epub 2007 May 29.

Ubiquitination differentially regulates clathrin-dependent internalization of protease-activated receptor-1.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR1), a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) for thrombin, is irreversibly activated by proteolysis. Consequently, PAR1 trafficking is critical for the fidelity of thrombin signaling. PAR1 displays constitutive and agonist-induced internalization, which are clathrin and dynamin dependent but are independent of arrestins. The clathrin adaptor AP2 (adaptor protein complex-2) is critical for constitutive but not for activated PAR1 internalization. In this study, we show that ubiquitination negatively regulates PAR1 constitutive internalization and specifies a distinct clathrin adaptor requirement for activated receptor internalization. PAR1 is basally ubiquitinated and deubiquitinated after activation. A PAR1 lysineless mutant signaled normally but was not ubiquitinated. Constitutive internalization of ubiquitin (Ub)-deficient PAR1 was markedly increased and inhibited by the fusion of Ub to the cytoplasmic tail. Ub-deficient PAR1 constitutive internalization was AP2 dependent like the wild-type receptor. However, unlike wild-type PAR1, AP2 was required for the internalization of activated Ub-deficient receptor, suggesting that the internalization of ubiquitinated PAR1 requires different endocytic machinery. These studies reveal a novel function for ubiquitination in the regulation of GPCR internalization.

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