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J Neurochem. 2010 Aug;114(3):739-49. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2010.06805.x. Epub 2010 May 8.

RGS9-2 mediates specific inhibition of agonist-induced internalization of D2-dopamine receptors.

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Department of Biomedical and Pharmacological Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island 02881, USA.


Regulator of G protein signaling 9-2 (RGS9-2), a member of the RGS family of GTPase accelerating proteins, is expressed specifically in the striatum, a brain region involved in controlling movement, motivation, mood and addiction. RGS9-2 can be found co-localized with D(2)-class dopamine receptors in medium spiny striatal neurons and altered functioning of both RGS9-2 and D(2)-like dopamine receptors have been implicated in schizophrenia, movement disorders and reward responses. Previously we showed that RGS9-2 can specifically co-localize with D(2)-dopamine receptors (D2R). Here we provide further evidence of the specificity of RGS9-2 for regulating D2R cellular functions: the expression of RGS9-2 inhibits dopamine-mediated cellular internalization of D2R, while the expression of another RGS protein, RGS4, had no effect. In addition, the agonist-mediated internalization of the G protein coupled delta opioid receptor was unaffected by RGS9-2 expression. We utilized mutant constructs of RGS9-2 to show that the RGS9-2 DEP (for Disheveled, EGL-10, Pleckstrin homology) domain and the GTPase accelerating activity of RGS9-2 were necessary for mediating specific inhibition of D2R internalization.

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