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Sensory neuron-specific MAS-related gene-X1 receptors resist agonist-promoted endocytosis.

Solinski HJ, Boekhoff I, Bouvier M, Gudermann T, Breit A

Walther-Straub-Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 80336 München, Germany.

Human sensory neuron-specific mas-related gene X1 receptors (hMrgX1s) belong to the superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), bind cleavage products of pro-enkephalin with high affinity, and have been suggested to participate in pain sensation. Murine or rat MrgC receptors exhibit high similarities with hMrgX1 in terms of expression pattern, sequence homology, and binding profile. Therefore, rodents have been used as an in vivo model to explore the physiological functions and pharmacodynamics of the hMrgX1. Agonist-promoted receptor endocytosis significantly affects the pharmacodynamics of a GPCR but is not yet investigated for hMrgX1. Therefore, we analyzed the effects of prolonged agonist exposure on cell surface protein levels of hMrgX1 and murine or rat MrgC in human embryonic kidney 293, Cos, F11, and ND-C cells. We observed that hMrgX1 are resistant and both MrgC are prone to agonist-promoted receptor endocytosis. In Cos cells, coexpression of beta-arrestins strongly enhanced endocytosis of murine MrgC but did not alter cell surface expression of hMrgX1 receptors. These data define the hMrgX1 as one of the few members within the superfamily of GPCRs whose signaling is not regulated by agonist-promoted endocytosis and reveal species-specific differences in the regulation of Mrg receptor signaling. Given the importance of receptor endocytosis for the pharmacodynamics of a given ligand, our results may have a strong impact on the development of future drugs that suppose to control pain in humans but were tested in rodents.

Mol. Pharmacol. 2010;78(2):249-59.

Pubmed ID: 20424127

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