Arrestin binding to the G protein-coupled N-formyl peptide receptor is regulated by the conserved "DRY" sequence.
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Following activation by ligand, the N-formyl peptide receptor (FPR) undergoes processing events initiated by phosphorylation that lead to receptor desensitization and internalization. Our previous results have shown that FPR internalization can occur in the absence of receptor desensitization, suggesting that FPR desensitization and internalization are controlled by distinct mechanisms. More recently, we have provided evidence that internalization of the FPR occurs via a mechanism that is independent of the actions of arrestin, dynamin, and clathrin. In the present report, we demonstrate that stimulation of the FPR with agonist leads to a significant translocation of arrestin-2 from the cytosol to the membrane. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that the translocated arrestin-2 is highly colocalized with the ligand-bound FPR. A D71A mutant FPR, which does not undergo activation or phosphorylation in response to ligand, did not colocalize with arrestin-2. Surprisingly, an R123G mutant FPR, which does not bind G protein but does become phosphorylated and subsequently internalized, also did not bind arrestin. These results indicate that arrestin binding is not required for FPR internalization and demonstrate for the first time that a common motif, the conserved "DRY" domain of G protein-coupled receptors, is essential for phosphorylation-dependent arrestin binding, as well as G protein activation.