Receptor-mediated adenylylcyclase activation following "homologous" and "heterologous" desensitization

Mark David Richardson, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Using a "collision-coupling" model for $\beta \sb 2$-adrenergic receptor-mediated activation of adenylylcyclase in S49 lymphoma cells, the rate-limiting step of that activation was identified as the association of an "active-state", hormone-bound receptor (HR$\sp\*$) with a G$\sb{\rm s}$-adenylylcyclase moiety (G$\sb{\rm s}$C). It was subsequently hypothesized that the location of the rate-limiting step would not be shifted elsewhere in the activation scheme by receptor desensitization. The traditional focus of receptor desensitization studies has been on modifications of the receptor molecule itself. A "clear-cut" answer to the present hypothesis provides new information on modifications in the function of the receptor following desensitization. "Heterologous" desensitization was induced in wild type S49 cells with agents which increase intracellular cAMP without occupying $\beta\sb2$-adrenergic receptors; PGE$\sb1$, forskolin and dibutyryl cAMP. These treatments avoided overlapping effects on $\beta\sb2$-adrenergic receptors by the "homologous" mechanism, in which occupancy by hormone is causative. Although the steady-state activation rate was decreased following heterologous desensitization, that rate was still limited by the association between HR* and G$\sb{\rm s}$C. Thus "heterologous" desensitization acts at the equilibrium between HR and HR* (which is driven by hormone efficiency) such that HR* formation becomes less likely and the frequency of HR*G$\sb{\rm s}$C associations decreases. "Homologous" desensitization was induced by high (1-10$\mu$M) epinephrine concentrations in the S49 variant deficient in cAMP-dependent protein kinase, KIN$\sp-$. Use of KIN$\sp-$minimized overlapping effects by the "heterologous" mechanism, which is PKA-dependent. Following homologous desensitization, roughly 50% of the receptors in plasma membrane preparations no longer formed HR*G$\sb{\rm s}$C complexes; evidenced by a decrease in high-affinity hormone binding sites. The loss of HR*G$\sb{\rm s}$C formation did not appear related to the HR/HR* equilibrium. Increasing the efficiency of the assay agonist did nothing to "override" the effect. HR*G$\sb{\rm s}$C association was still the rate-limiting step among the remaining functional receptors. It was not distinguishable whether the remaining activity was "desensitized" due to adenylylcyclase having decreased access to receptors within plasma membrane fragments or due to an effect similar to "heterologous" desensitization.

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Recommended Citation

Richardson, Mark David, "Receptor-mediated adenylylcyclase activation following "homologous" and "heterologous" desensitization" (1994). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9431750.