Characterization of agonist stimulation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase and G protein-coupled receptor kinase phosphorylation of the beta2-adrenergic receptor using phosphoserine-specific antibodies
Tran, T.M.; Friedman, J.; Qunaibi, E.; Baameur, F.; Moore, R.H.; Clark, R.B.
Molecular Pharmacology 65(1): 196-206
Agonist-stimulated desensitization of the beta2-adrenergic receptor (beta2AR) is caused by both a potent cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA)-mediated phosphorylation and a less potent, occupancy-dependent, G protein-coupled receptor kinase (GRK)-mediated phosphorylation that leads to beta-arrestin binding and internalization. In this study the kinetics of phosphorylation of the third intracellular loop PKA site Ser262 and the putative C-tail GRK sites Ser355, Ser356 of the human beta2AR overexpressed in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells were characterized using phosphoserine-specific antibodies. Specificity of the antibodies was shown by their lack of reactivity with mutant beta2ARs lacking the respective sites. In addition, overexpression of GRK2 and GRK5 increased basal levels of phosphorylation of the GRK sites Ser355, Ser356 in both COS-7 and HEK 293 cells. Epinephrine, prostaglandin E1, and forskolin at maximum concentrations stimulated phosphorylation of the beta2AR PKA site (Ser262) by 4-fold, whereas PMA stimulated it by 2-fold. Epinephrine stimulated PKA site phosphorylation with an EC50 of 20 to 40 pM. In contrast, epinephrine stimulated GRK site phosphorylation (Ser355,Ser356) with an EC50 of 200 nM (1-min treatments), which is more than 4000-fold higher relative to PKA site phosphorylation, consistent with an occupancy-driven process. After 10 to 30 min, the EC50 for epinephrine stimulation of GRK site phosphorylation was reduced to 10 to 20 nM but was still approximately 200-fold greater than for the PKA site. The EC50 for internalization correlated with GRK site phosphorylation and showed a similar shift with time of epinephrine stimulation. The kinetics of epinephrine-stimulated GRK site phosphorylation were not altered in a mutant of the beta2AR lacking the PKA consensus sites. The initial levels (2 min) of a range of agonist-stimulated GRK site phosphorylations were correlated with their efficacy for activation of adenylyl cyclase, namely epinephrine > or = formoterol = fenoterol > terbutaline = zinterol = albuterol > salmeterol > dobutamine > or = ephedrine. However, after 20 to 30 min of treatment, agonists with intermediate strengths, such as albuterol and salmeterol, stimulate GRK site phosphorylations that are approximately equal to that produced by epinephrine, and the correlation breaks down. The GRK and PKA site antibodies were also effective in detecting phosphorylation of the endogenous beta2AR expressed in A431 human epidermoid carcinoma cells. To summarize, our results show a remarkable amplification of PKA site phosphorylation relative to the putative GRK site phosphorylation, heterologous stimulation of the PKA site phosphorylation, no dependence of GRK site phosphorylation on PKA sites, and a reasonable correlation of initial levels of GRK site phosphorylation with the strength of a range of agonists.