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Hypertension. 2013 May;61(5):1021-7. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.00321. Epub 2013 Mar 18.

A novel role for c-Myc in G protein-coupled receptor kinase 4 (GRK4) transcriptional regulation in human kidney proximal tubule cells.

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Department of Pathology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


The G protein-coupled receptor kinase 4 (GRK4) negatively regulates the dopaminergic system by desensitizing the dopamine-1-receptor. The expressional control of GRK4 has not been reported, but here we show that the transcription factor c-Myc binds to the promoter of GRK4 and positively regulates GRK4 protein expression in human renal proximal tubule cells (RPTCs). Addition of phorbol esters to RPTCs not only increased c-Myc binding to the GRK4 promoter but also increased both phospho-c-Myc and GRK4 expression. The phorbol ester-mediated increase in GRK4 expression was completely blocked by the c-Myc inhibitor, 10074-G5, indicating that GRK4 is downstream of phospho-c-Myc. The autocrine production of angiotensin II (Ang II) in RPTCs increased the phosphorylation and activation of c-Myc and subsequently GRK4 expression. 3-Amino-4-thio-butyl sulfonate, an inhibitor of aminopeptidase A, increased RPTC secretion of Ang II. 3-Amino-4-thio-butyl sulfonate or Ang II increased the expression of both phospho-c-Myc and GRK4, which was blocked by 10074-G5. Blockade of the Ang II type 1 receptor with losartan decreased phospho-c-Myc and GRK4 expression. Both inhibition of c-Myc activity and blockade of Ang II type 1 receptor restored the coupling of dopamine-1-receptor to adenylyl cyclase stimulation in uncoupled RPTCs, whereas phorbol esters or Ang II caused the uncoupling of normally coupled RPTCs. We suggest that the Ang II type 1 receptor impairs dopamine-1-receptor function via c-Myc activation of GRK4. This novel pathway may be involved in the increase in blood pressure in hypertension that is mediated by increased activity of the renin-angiotensin system and decreased activity of the renal dopaminergic system.

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