Uncoupling and endocytosis of 5-hydroxytryptamine 4 receptors. Distinct molecular events with different GRK2 requirements.


The 5-hydroxytryptamine type 4 receptors (5-HT4Rs) are involved in memory, cognition, feeding, respiratory control, and gastrointestinal motility through activation of a G(s)/cAMP pathway. We have shown that 5-HT4R undergoes rapid and profound homologous uncoupling in neurons. However, no significant uncoupling was observed in COS-7 or HEK293 cells, which expressed either no or a weak concentration of GRK2, respectively. High expression of GRK2 in neurons is likely to be the reason for this difference because overexpression of GRK2 in COS-7 and HEK293 cells reproduced rapid and profound uncoupling of 5-HT4R. We have also shown, for the first time, that GRK2 requirements for uncoupling and endocytosis were very different. Indeed, beta-arrestin/dynamin-dependent endocytosis was observed in HEK293 cells without any need of GRK2 overexpression. In addition to this difference, uncoupling and beta-arrestin/dynamin-dependent endocytosis were mediated through distinct mechanisms. Neither uncoupling nor beta-arrestin/dynamin-dependent endocytosis required the serine and threonine residues localized within the specific C-terminal domains of the 5-HT4R splice variants. In contrast, a cluster of serines and threonines, common to all variants, was an absolute requirement for beta-arrestin/dynamin-dependent receptor endocytosis, but not for receptor uncoupling. Furthermore, beta-arrestin/dynamin-dependent endocytosis and uncoupling were dependent on and independent of GRK2 kinase activity, respectively. These results clearly demonstrate that the uncoupling and endocytosis of 5-HT4R require different GRK2 concentrations and involve distinct molecular events.