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J Cell Sci. 1997 Oct;110 ( Pt 19):2381-90.

Internalization and recycling of the C5a anaphylatoxin receptor: evidence that the agonist-mediated internalization is modulated by phosphorylation of the C-terminal domain.

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CEA/Grenoble, DBMS/Laboratoire de Biochimie et de Biophysique des Systèmes Integres (UMR 314 CEA/CNRS), Grenoble, France.


The C5a anaphylatoxin receptor is a member of the G protein-coupled receptor family involved in chemoattraction and activation of myeloid cells, as well as in host defence against infection by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Upon challenge by C5a, the C5a receptor undergoes a rapid phosphorylation on serine residues in the carboxyl-terminal region. In this study, we used cells stably transfected with either the wild-type C5a receptor, or mutants affected in their capacity to be phosphorylated, to examine the role played by phosphorylation in the intracellular trafficking of the C5a receptor. Upon agonist binding, the wild-type receptor was rapidly internalized into endosomes that cluster near the nucleus after 10 minutes. Internalization of a non-phosphorylable mutant was severely impaired relative to wild-type receptor, whereas a mutant phos-phorylated on serine 327 and/or serine 338, showed a rate of internalization intermediate between that of wild-type receptor and that of the non-phosphorylable mutant. Under continuous exposure to C5a and in the absence of protein synthesis, the C5a receptor was maintained in a highly phosphorylated state but was not degraded. Confocal microscopy and ligand-binding studies indicated that internalized receptors were recycled to the plasma membrane. During this process, receptors were dephosphorylated with kinetics that correlated with the kinetics of receptor recovery on the cell surface. Altogether, our data suggest that phosphorylation plays a key role in the intracellular trafficking of the C5a receptor. Phosphoryl-ated receptors might be recognized by an adaptor protein that interacts with the endocytic machinery.

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