N-formyl peptide receptor phosphorylation domains differentially regulate arrestin and agonist affinity. Academic Article uri icon


  • Arrestins regulate the signaling and endocytosis of many G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). It has been suggested that the functions of arrestins are dependent upon both the number and pattern of phosphorylation sites present in an activated GPCR. However, little is currently known about the relationships between the sites of receptor phosphorylation, the resulting affinities of arrestin binding, and the ensuing mechanisms of receptor regulation for any given GPCR. To investigate these interactions, we used an active truncated mutant of arrestin (amino acids 1-382) and phosphorylation-deficient mutants of the N-formyl peptide receptor (FPR). In contrast to results with wild type arrestins, the truncated arrestin-2 protein bound to the unphosphorylated wild type FPR, although with lower affinity and a low affinity for the agonist as revealed by competition studies with heterotrimeric G proteins. Using FPR mutants, we further demonstrated that the phosphorylation status of serines and threonines between residues 328-332 is a key determinant that regulates the affinity of the FPR for arrestins. Furthermore, we found that the phosphorylation status of serine and threonine residues between amino acids 334 and 339 regulates the affinity of the receptor for agonist when arrestin is bound. These results suggest that the agonist affinity state of the receptor is principally regulated by phosphorylation at specific sites and is not simply a consequence of arrestin binding as has previously been proposed. Furthermore, this is the first demonstration that agonist affinity of a GPCR and the affinity of arrestin binding to the phosphorylated receptor are regulated by distinct receptor phosphodomains.

publication date

  • February 2003