Genes encoding chemokine receptor-like proteins have been found in
herpes and poxviruses and implicated in viral pathogenesis. Here we
describe the cellular distribution and trafficking of a human
cytomegalovirus (HCMV) chemokine receptor encoded by the
US28 gene, after transient and stable expression in
transfected HeLa and Cos cells. Immunofluorescence staining indicated
that this viral protein accumulated intracellularly in vesicular
structures in the perinuclear region of the cell and showed overlap
with markers for endocytic organelles. By immunogold electron
microscopy US28 was seen mostly to localize to multivesicular
endosomes. A minor portion of the protein (at most 20%) was also
expressed at the cell surface. Antibody-feeding experiments indicated
that cell surface US28 undergoes constitutive ligand-independent
endocytosis. Biochemical analysis with the use of iodinated ligands
showed that US28 was rapidly internalized. The high-affinity ligand of
US28, the CX3C-chemokine fractalkine, reduced the
steady-state levels of US28 at the cell surface, apparently by
inhibiting the recycling of internalized receptor. Endocytosis and
cycling of HCMV US28 could play a role in the sequestration of host
chemokines, thereby modulating antiviral immune responses. In addition,
the distribution of US28 mainly on endosomal membranes may allow it to
be incorporated into the viral envelope during HCMV assembly.
The viral G-protein coupled receptor (vGPCR) specified by human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) open reading frame 74 (ORF74) is a ligand-independent chemokine receptor that has structural and functional homologues among other characterized gammaherpesviruses and related receptors in the betaherpesviruses. Sequence comparisons of the gammaherpesvirus vGPCRs revealed a highly conserved region in the C tail, just distal to the seventh transmembrane domain. Mutagenesis of the corresponding codons of HHV-8 ORF74 was carried out to provide C-tail-altered proteins for functional analyses. By measuring receptor-activated vascular endothelial growth factor promoter induction and NF-κB, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and Ca2+ signaling, we found that while some altered receptors showed general signaling deficiencies, others had distinguishable activation profiles, suggestive of selective Gα protein coupling. This was supported by the finding that vGPCR and representative functionally altered variants, vGPCR.8 (R322W) and vGPCR.15 (M325S), were affected differently by inhibitors of Gαi (pertussis toxin), protein kinase C (GF109203X), and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (wortmannin). Consistent with the signaling data, [35S]GTPγS incorporation assays revealed preferential coupling of vGPCR.15 to Gαq and an inability of vGPCR.8 to couple functionally to Gαq. However, both variants, wild-type vGPCR, and a C-tail deletion version of the receptor were equally able to associate physically with Gαq. Combined, our data demonstrate that HHV-8 vGPCR contains discrete sites of Gα interaction and that receptor residues in the proximal region of the cytoplasmic tail are determinants of Gα protein coupling specificity.
The sequential interaction of the envelope glycoprotein of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) with CD4 and certain chemokine coreceptors initiates host cell entry of the virus. The appropriate chemokines have been shown to inhibit viral replication by blocking interaction of the gp120 envelope protein with the coreceptors. We considered the possibility that this interaction involves a motif of the gp120 that may be structurally homologous to the chemokines. In the amino acid sequences of most chemokines there is a Trp residue located at the beginning of the C-terminal α-helix, which is separated by six residues from the fourth Cys residue. The gp120 of all HIV-1 isolates have a similar motif, which includes the C-terminal part of a variable loop 3 (V3) and N-terminal part of a conserved region 3 (C3). Two synthetic peptides, derived from the relevant gp120 sequence inhibited HIV-1 replication in macrophages and T lymphocytes in sequence-dependent manner. The peptides also prevented binding of anti-CXCR4 antibodies to CXCR4, and inhibited the intracellular Ca2+ influx in response to CXCL12/SDF-1α. Thus these peptides can be used to dissect gp120 interactions with chemokine receptors and could serve as leads for the design of new inhibitors of HIV-1.
Natural killer cells express clonally distributed receptors specific for major histocompatibility complex class I molecules. The human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-C-specific receptors have been molecularly identified and cloned. They exist not only as inhibitory (p58) but also as activatory (p50) receptors. Here we show that p50 and p58 are highly homologous in their extracellular regions formed by two Ig-like domains. In contrast, major differences exist in their transmembrane and cytoplasmic portions. Whereas p 58 displays a 76-84-amino acid cytoplasmic tail containing an unusual antigen receptor activation motif, p50 is characterized by a shorter 39-amino acid tail. In addition, whereas p58 has a nonpolar transmembrane portion, p50 contains the charged amino acid Lys. These data strongly suggest that receptors with identical HLA-C allele specificity can mediate functions of opposite sign owing to their different transmembrane/cytoplasmic portions.
Activation of a G-protein-coupled receptor involves changes in specific microdomain interactions within the transmembrane region of the receptor. Here, we have focused on the role of L207, proximal to the DRY motif of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 in the interconversion of the receptor resting and active states. Ligand binding analysis of the mutant receptor L207A revealed an enhanced affinity for agonists (three- to six-fold) and a diminished affinity for inverse agonists (19- to 35-fold) compared to the wild-type receptor, properties characteristic of constitutive activity. To further examine whether this mutant adopts a ligand-independent, active form, treatment with GTPγS was used to inhibit G protein coupling. Under these conditions, the L207A receptor exhibited a 10-fold increase in affinity for the inverse agonist SR141716A, consistent with a shift away from an enhanced precoupled state. Analysis of the cellular activity of the L207A receptor showed elevated basal cyclic AMP accumulation relative to the wild type that is inhibited by SR141716A, consistent with receptor-mediated Gs precoupling. Using toxins to selectively abrogate Gs or Gi coupling, we found that CP55940 nonetheless induced only a Gi response suggesting a strong preference of this ligand-bound form for Gi in this system. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal that the single residue change of L207A impacts the association of TM3 and TM6 in the receptor by altering hydrophobic interactions involving L207, the salt bridge involving the Arg of the DRY motif, and the helical structure of TM6, consistent with events leading to activation. The structural alterations parallel those observed in models of a mutant CB1 receptor T210I, with established constitutive activity (D’Antona, A.M., Ahn, K.H. and Kendall, D.A., 2006. Mutations of CB1 T210 produce active and inactive receptor forms: correlations with ligand affinity, receptor stability, and cellular localization. Biochemistry, 45, 5606–5617).
Cannabinoid; Cannabinoid receptor; CB1; G-protein-coupled receptor; Ligand binding; Receptor activation
The heptad repeat (HR), a conserved structural motif of class I viral fusion proteins, is responsible for the formation of a six-helix bundle structure during the envelope fusion process. The insect baculovirus F protein is a newly found budded virus envelope fusion protein which possesses common features to class I fusion proteins, such as proteolytic cleavage and the presence of an N-terminal open fusion peptide and multiple HR domains on the transmembrane subunit F1. Similar to many vertebrate viral fusion proteins, a conserved leucine zipper motif is predicted in this HR region proximal to the fusion peptide in baculovirus F proteins. To facilitate our understanding of the functional role of this leucine zipper-like HR1 domain in baculovirus F protein synthesis, processing, and viral infectivity, key leucine residues (Leu209, Leu216, and Leu223) were replaced by alanine (A) or arginine (R), respectively. By using Autographa californica multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) as a pseudotype expression system, we demonstrated that all mutant F proteins incorporated into budded virus, indicating that leucine substitutions did not affect intercellular trafficking of F. Furin-like protease cleavage was not affected by any of the leucine substitutions; however, the disulfide bridging and N-linked glycosylation patterns were partly altered. Single substitutions in HR1 showed that the three leucine residues were critical for F fusogenicity and the rescue of AcMNPV infectivity. Our results support the view that the leucine zipper-like HR1 domain is important to safeguard the proper folding, glycosylation, and fusogenicity of baculovirus F proteins.
The carboxyl tail of G protein-coupled receptors contains motifs that regulate receptor interactions with intracellular partners. Activation of the human neutrophil complement fragment C5a receptor (C5aR) is terminated by phosphorylation of the carboxyl tail followed by receptor internalization. In this study, we demonstrated that bulky hydrophobic residues in the membrane proximal region of the C5aR carboxyl tail play an important role in proper structure and function of the receptor: Substitution of leucine 319 with alanine (L319A) resulted in receptor retention in the endoplasmic reticulum, whereas a L318A substitution allowed receptor transport to the cell surface, but showed slow internalization upon activation, presumably due to a defect in phosphorylation by both PKC and GRK. Normal agonist-induced activation of ERK1/2 and intracellular calcium release suggested that the L318A mutation did not affect receptor signaling. Binding of GRK2 and PKCβII to intracellular loop 3 of C5aR in vitro indicated that mutagenesis of L318 did not affect kinase binding. Limited proteolysis with trypsin revealed a conformational difference between wild type and mutant receptor. Our studies support a model in which the L318/L319 stabilizes an amphipathic helix (Q305–R320) in the membrane proximal region of C5aR.
Chemoattractant receptor; endocytosis; protein folding; cytoplasmic helix 8
The highly conserved DRY motif located at the end of the third transmembrane of G protein-coupled receptors has been described as a key motif for several aspects of GPCR functions. However, in the case of the vertebrate gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRHR), the amino acid in the third position in the DRY motif is variable. In the lamprey, a most basal vertebrate, the third amino acid of the “DRY” in GnRHR is His, while it is most often His/Gln in the type II GnRHR. To investigate the functional significance of the substitution of DRY to DRH in the lamprey(l)GnRHR, second messenger signaling, ligand binding and internalization of the wild-type and mutant lGnRH receptors were characterized with site-directed mutagenesis. Treatment of the DRE151 and DRS151 mutant receptors with lamprey GnRH-I significantly reduced inositol phosphate compared to wild-type (DRH151) and DRY151 receptors. The logIC50 of wild-type receptor (−9.554±0.049) was similar to the logIC50 of DRE151, DRS151 and DRX151 mutants, yet these same mutants were shown to significantly reduce cell surface expression. However, the DRY151 mutant compared to the wild-type receptor increased cell surface expression, suggesting that the reduction of IP production was due to the level of the cell surface expression of the mutant receptors. The rate of internalization of DRX151 (35.60%) was reduced compared to wild-type and other mutant receptors. These results suggest that His151 of the lamprey GnRH receptor may play a critical role in the retention of a certain level of cell-surface expression for subsequent cellular second messenger events.
GnRH receptor; DRY motif; receptor expression; signaling; site-directed mutagenesis; lamprey
Programmed cell death signaling is a critical feature of development, cellular turnover, oncogenesis, and neurodegeneration, among other processes. Such signaling may be transduced via specific receptors, either following ligand binding—to death receptors—or following the withdrawal of trophic ligands—from dependence receptors. Although dependence receptors display functional similarities, no common structural domains have been identified. Therefore, we employed the Multiple Expectation Maximization for Motif Elicitation and the Motif Alignment and Search Tool software programs to identify a novel transmembrane motif, dubbed dependence-associated receptor transmembrane (DART) motif, that is common to all described dependence receptors. Of 3,465 human transmembrane proteins, 25 (0.7%) display the DART motif. The predicted secondary structure features an alpha helical structure, with an unusually high percentage of valine residues. At least four of the proteins undergo regulated intramembrane proteolysis. To date, we have not identified a function for this putative domain. We speculate that the DART motif may be involved in protein processing, interaction with other proteins or lipids, or homomultimerization.
Toll like receptors (TLRs) are essential for host defense. While several TLRs reside on the cell surface, nucleic acid recognizing TLRs are intracellular. For example, the receptor for CpG containing bacterial and viral DNA, TLR9, is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Recent evidence suggests that the localization of TLR9 is critical for appropriate ligand recognition. Here we define which structural features of the TLR9 molecule control its intracellular localization. Both the cytoplasmic and ectodomains of TLR9 contain sufficient information while the transmembrane domain plays no role in intracellular localization. We identify a 14 amino acid stretch that directs TLR9 intracellularly and confers intracellular localization to the normally cell surface expressed TLR4. Truncation or mutation of the cytoplasmic tail of TLR9 reveals a vesicle localization motif that targets early endosomes. We propose a model whereby modification of the cytoplasmic tail of TLR9 results in trafficking to early endosomes where it encounters CpG DNA.
We have identified a human cDNA that is homologous to the chicken kinectin, a putative receptor for the organelle motor kinesin. The human cDNA clone hybridized to a single 4.6-kb mRNA species that codes for a protein of 156 kDa molecular mass. The predicted primary translation product contains an N-terminal transmembrane helix followed by a bipartite nuclear localization sequence and two further C-terminal leucine zipper motifs. In addition, the aminoacid sequence revealed a large region (327-1362) of predicted alpha-helical coiled coils. A monoclonal antibody CT-1 raised against a GST-kinectin fusion protein produced a perinuclear, endoplasmic reticulum-like staining pattern in diverse cell types from different species, indicating evolutionary conservation. Monoclonal antibody CT-1 and anti-chicken kinectin antibodies cross-reacted both in Western blotting and immunoprecipitation with a 160-kDa protein, confirming the antigenic identity of this 160-kDa protein with chicken kinectin. Epitope tagging studies revealed that the nuclear localization sequence motif of kinectin is not functional. Furthermore, a truncated kinesin cDNA lacking the N-terminal hydrophobic domain revealed a nonspecific cytoplasmic staining pattern. Together the data suggest that kinectin is an integral membrane protein anchored in the endoplasmic reticulum via a transmembrane domain.
The cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that binds the main active ingredient of marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, and has been implicated in several disease states, including drug addiction, anxiety, depression, obesity, and chronic pain. In the two decades since the discovery of CB1, studies at the molecular level have centered on the transmembrane core. This interest has now expanded as we discover that other regions of CB1, including the CB1 carboxyl-terminus, have critical structures that are important for CB1 activity and regulation. Following the recent description of the three dimensional structure of the full-length CB1 carboxyl-terminal tail (Ahn et al., Biopolymers (2009) 91: 565–573), several residues and structural motifs including two α-helices (termed H8 and H9) have been postulated to interact with common GPCR accessory proteins, such as G-proteins and β-arrestins. This discourse will focus on the CB1 carboxyl-terminus; our current understanding of the structural features of this region, evidence for its interaction with proteins, and the impact of structure on the binding and regulatory function of CB1 accessory proteins. The involvement of the carboxyl-terminus in the receptor life cycle including activation, desensitization, and internalization will be highlighted.
cannabinoid receptor; G protein-coupled receptor; carboxyl-terminus; internalization; desensitization; helix 8
Human androgen receptor (AR) transcriptional activity involves interdomain and coactivator interactions with the agonist-bound AR ligand binding domain (LBD). Structural determinants of the AR NH2- and carboxyl-terminal interaction between the AR NH2-terminal FXXLF motif and activation function 2 (AF2) in the LBD were shown previously by crystallography. In this report, we provide evidence for a region in AR LBD helix 12 outside the AF2 binding cleft that facilitates interactions with the FXXLF and LXXLL motifs. Mutagenesis of glutamine 902 to alanine in AR LBD helix 12 (Q902A) disrupted AR FXXLF motif binding to AF2, but enhanced coactivator LXXLL motif binding. Functional compensation for defective FXXLF motif binding by AR-Q902A was suggested by the slower dissociation rate of bound androgen. Functional importance of glutamine 902 was indicated by the charged residue germline mutation Q902R that caused partial androgen insensitivity, and a similar somatic mutation Q902K reported in prostate cancer, both of which increased the androgen dissociation rate and decreased AR transcriptional activity. High affinity equilibrium androgen binding was retained by alanine substitution mutations at Tyr-739 in AR LBD helix 5 or Lys-905 in helix 12 structurally adjacent to AF2, whereas transcriptional activity decreased and the androgen dissociation increased. Deleterious effects of these loss of function mutations were rescued by the helix stabilizing AR prostate cancer somatic mutation H874Y. Sequence NH2-terminal to the AR FXXLF motif contributed to the AR NH2- and carboxyl-terminal interaction based on greater AR-2-30 FXXLF motif peptide binding to the agonist-bound AR LBD than a shorter AR-20-30 FXXLF motif peptide. We conclude that helix 12 residues outside the AF2 binding cleft modulate AR transcriptional activity by providing flexibility to accommodate FXXLF or LXXLL motif binding.
androgen receptor; N/C interaction; FXXLF motif; LXXLL motif; androgen insensitivity; prostate cancer
Terminal tetraloops consisting of GNRA sequences are often found in biologically active large RNAs. The loops appear to contribute towards the organization of higher order RNA structures by forming specific tertiary interactions with their receptors. Group IC3 introns which possess a GAAA loop in the L2 region often have a phylogenetically conserved motif in their P8 domains. In this report, we show that this conserved motif stands as a new class of receptor that distinguishes the sequences of GNRA loops less stringently than previously known receptors. The motif can functionally substitute an 11 nt motif receptor in the Tetrahymena ribozyme. Its structural and functional similarity to one class of synthetic receptors obtained from in vitro selection is observed.
The activity of human immunodeficiency virus Rev as a regulator of viral mRNA expression is tightly linked to its ability to shuttle between the nucleus and cytoplasm; these properties are conferred by a leucine-rich nuclear export signal (NES) and by an arginine-rich nuclear localization signal/RNA binding domain (NLS/RBD) required for binding to the Rev-responsive element (RRE) located on viral unspliced and singly spliced mRNAs. Structure predictions and biophysical measurements indicate that Rev consists of an unstructured region followed by a helix-loop-helix motif containing the NLS/RBD and sequences directing multimerization and by a carboxy-terminal tail containing the NES. We present evidence that the loop portion of the helix-loop-helix region is an essential functional determinant that is required for binding to the RRE and for correct intracellular routing. Data obtained using a protein kinase CK2 phosphorylation assay indicated that the loop region is essential for juxtaposition of helices 1 and 2 and phosphorylation by protein kinase CK2. Deletion of the loop resulted in partial accumulation of Rev in SC35-positive nuclear bodies that resembled nuclear bodies that form in response to inhibition of transcription. Accumulation of the ΔLoop mutant in nuclear bodies depended on the presence of an intact NES, suggesting that both the loop and the NES play a role in controlling intranuclear compartmentalization of Rev and its association with splicing factors.
The E3 ubiquitin ligase atrophin interacting protein 4 (AIP4) mediates ubiquitination and down-regulation of the chemokine receptor CXCR4. AIP4 belongs to the Nedd4-like homologous to E6-AP carboxy terminus domain family of E3 ubiquitin ligases, which typically bind proline-rich motifs within target proteins via the WW domains. The intracellular domains of CXCR4 lack canonical WW domain binding motifs; thus, whether AIP4 is targeted to CXCR4 directly or indirectly via an adaptor protein remains unknown. Here, we show that AIP4 can interact directly with CXCR4 via a novel noncanonical WW domain-mediated interaction involving serine residues 324 and 325 within the carboxy-terminal tail of CXCR4. These serine residues are critical for mediating agonist-promoted binding of AIP4 and subsequent ubiquitination and degradation of CXCR4. These residues are phosphorylated upon agonist activation and phosphomimetic mutants show enhanced binding to AIP4, suggesting a mechanism whereby phosphorylation mediates the interaction between CXCR4 and AIP4. Our data reveal a novel noncanonical WW domain-mediated interaction involving phosphorylated serine residues in the absence of any proline residues and suggest a novel mechanism whereby an E3 ubiquitin ligase is targeted directly to an activated G protein-coupled receptor.
Purpose of review
Class A G protein-coupled receptors, including the chemokine receptors, CCR5 and CXCR4, share a seven transmembrane-spanning α-helix architecture that accommodates signal propagation from across biological membranes. CXCR4 and CCR5 are utilized as co-receptors during HIV viral entry and therefore crystal structures of GPCRs aid in the understanding of their function in viral entry.
Recent progress in structure determination of class A GPCRs, which include vertebrate and invertebrate rhodopsin as well as adrenergic and adenosine receptors, provide molecular templates for how this diverse group of transmembrane receptors functions. Each of these GPCRs differs in how specific ligands bind to the transmembrane core, underscoring that additional structures of GPCRs from other sub-families are needed to facilitate rational drug design. More recent studies also indicate a need to consider the more complex character of GPCRs, such as their oligomerization and dynamics.
Recently the atomic structures of invertebrate rhodopsin, β1- and β2-adrenergic receptors and the A2A-adenosine receptor have been solved via X-ray crystallography. The impact that these structures have on the biochemistry of viral entry and signal transduction is discussed. Because the chemokine receptors have proven refractory to structural studies thus far, further structural study of the chemokine receptors will be essential to understanding ligand binding, activation and function as co-receptors during viral entry.
rhodopsin; G protein-coupled receptor; membrane protein crystallography; GPCR; CCR5; CXCR4
Identification of low-frequency variants is of clinical importance in the identification of preexisting drug resistance. Using ‘ultra-deep’ sequencing, we address the detection of potential resistance to the chemokine (C–C motif) receptor 5 antagonist, maraviroc, due to the pretreatment presence of low levels of chemokine (CXC motif) receptor 4 (CXCR4)-using virus.
We present a novel protocol for the phenotyping of HIV based on ‘454’ pyrosequence data and apply this to two large data sets comprised of 104░628 (before treatment, day 1) and 191░637 (after treatment, day 11) reads from the envelope region. We study resistance in the context of the evolutionary history of the intrapatient viral population. Variation was also investigated both within and outside the V3 region, the region associated with the receptor switch.
CXCR4-using virus can be detected at low frequency prior to maraviroc treatment (~0.5%) and at high frequency after failure of monotherapy (~81%). Inferring an evolutionary tree from the 1674 unique reads that span the V3 region confirms that the CXCR4-using population emerged from low-frequency CXCR4-using variants present before treatment. Changes in the frequency of amino acid residues used at individual sites were found in regions outside the V3 region, indicative of other potential sites associated with receptor usage.
We have provided a high-resolution snapshot of intrapatient viral variation, prior and after treatment with maraviroc, and detected preexisting CXCR4-using variants present at an extremely low frequency. The evolutionary analysis demonstrates the extent of diversity present at a single time point within an infected individual and the rapid effect of drug pressure on the structure of a viral population.
AIDS; chemokine receptors; chemokine (C–C motif) receptor 5; chemokine (CXC motif) receptor 4; coreceptors; HIV; maraviroc; pyrosequencing
From computational simulations of a serotonin 2A receptor (5-HT2AR) model complexed with pharmacologically and structurally diverse ligands we identify different conformational states and dynamics adopted by the receptor bound to the full agonist 5-HT, the partial agonist LSD, and the inverse agonist Ketanserin. The results from the unbiased all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations show that the three ligands affect differently the known GPCR activation elements including the toggle switch at W6.48, the changes in the ionic lock between E6.30 and R3.50 of the DRY motif in TM3, and the dynamics of the NPxxY motif in TM7. The computational results uncover a sequence of steps connecting these experimentally-identified elements of GPCR activation. The differences among the properties of the receptor molecule interacting with the ligands correlate with their distinct pharmacological properties. Combining these results with quantitative analysis of membrane deformation obtained with our new method (Mondal et al, Biophysical Journal 2011), we show that distinct conformational rearrangements produced by the three ligands also elicit different responses in the surrounding membrane. The differential reorganization of the receptor environment is reflected in (i)-the involvement of cholesterol in the activation of the 5-HT2AR, and (ii)-different extents and patterns of membrane deformations. These findings are discussed in the context of their likely functional consequences and a predicted mechanism of ligand-specific GPCR oligomerization.
The 5-HT2A receptor for the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) belongs to family A (rhodopsin-like) G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), one of the most important classes of membrane proteins that are targeted by an extensive and diverse collection of external stimuli. Recently we learned that different ligands targeting the same GPCR can elicit different biological responses, but the mechanisms remain unknown. We address this fundamental question for the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor, because it is known to respond to the binding of structurally diverse ligands by producing similar stimuli in the cell, and to the binding of quite similar ligands with dramatically different responses. Molecular dynamics simulations of molecular models of the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor in complex with pharmacologically distinct ligands show the dynamic rearrangements of the receptor molecule to be different for these ligands, and the nature and extents of the rearrangements reflect the known pharmacological properties of the ligands as full, partial or inverse activators of the receptor. The different rearrangements of the receptor molecule are shown to produce different rearrangements of the surrounding membrane, a remodeling of the environment that can have differential ligand-determined effects on receptor function and association in the cell's membrane.
The chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 2B (CCR2B) is one of the two isoforms of the receptor for monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (CCL2), the major chemoattractant for monocytes, involved in an array of chronic inflammatory diseases. Employing the yeast two-hybrid system, we identified the actin-binding protein filamin A (FLNa) as a protein that associates with the carboxyl-terminal tail of CCR2B. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments and in vitro pull down assays demonstrated that FLNa binds constitutively to CCR2B. The colocalization of endogenous CCR2B and filamin A was detected at the surface and in internalized vesicles of THP-1 cells. In addition, CCR2B and FLNa were colocalized in lamellipodia structures of CCR2B-expressing A7 cells. Expression of the receptor in filamin-deficient M2 cells together with siRNA experiments knocking down FLNa in HEK293 cells, demonstrated that lack of FLNa delays the internalization of the receptor. Furthermore, depletion of FLNa in THP-1 monocytes by RNA interference reduced the migration of cells in response to MCP-1. Therefore, FLNa emerges as an important protein for controlling the internalization and spatial localization of the CCR2B receptor in different dynamic membrane structures.
Seven transmembrane (7TM) or G protein-coupled receptors constitute a large superfamily of cell surface receptors sharing a structural motif of seven transmembrane spanning alpha helices. Their activation mechanism most likely involves concerted movements of the transmembrane helices, but remains to be completely resolved. Evolutionary Trace (ET) analysis is a computational method, which identifies clusters of functionally important residues by integrating information on evolutionary important residue variations with receptor structure. Combined with known mutational data, ET predicted a patch of residues in the cytoplasmic parts of TM2, TM3, and TM6 to form an activation switch that is common to all family A 7TM receptors. We tested this hypothesis in the rat Angiotensin II (Ang II) type 1 (AT1) receptor. The receptor has important roles in the cardiovascular system, but has also frequently been applied as a model for 7TM receptor activation and signaling. Six mutations: F66A, L67R, L70R, L119R, D125A, and I245F were targeted to the putative switch and assayed for changes in activation state by their ligand binding, signaling, and trafficking properties. All but one receptor mutant (that was not expressed well) displayed phenotypes associated with changed activation state, such as increased agonist affinity or basal activity, promiscuous activation, or constitutive internalization highlighting the importance of testing different signaling pathways. We conclude that this evolutionary important patch mediates interactions important for maintaining the inactive state. More broadly, these observations in the AT1 receptor are consistent with computational predictions of a generic role for this patch in 7TM receptor activation.
7TM receptor; GPCR; Evolutionary Trace; constitutive activity; Angiotensin
Fusion of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) with target cells is mediated by the gp41 subunit of the envelope protein. Mutation and deletion studies within the transmembrane domain (TMD) of intact gp41 influenced its fusion activity. In addition, current models suggest that the TMD is in proximity with the fusion peptide (FP) at the late fusion stages, but there are no direct experimental data to support this hypothesis. Here we investigated the TMD focusing on two regions: the N-terminal containing the GxxxG motif, and the C-terminal containing the GLRI motif, which is conserved among the TMDs of HIV and the T-cell receptor. Studies utilizing the ToxR expression system combined with synthetic peptides and their fluorescent analogs derived from TMD, revealed that the GxxxG motif is important for TMD self-association, whereas the C-terminal region for its hetero-association with FP. Functionally, all three TMD peptides induced lipid mixing that was enhanced significantly upon mixing with FP. Furthermore, the TMD peptides inhibited virus-cell fusion apparently through their interaction with their endogenous counterparts. Notably, the R2E mutant (in the GLRI) was significantly less potent than the two others. Overall, our findings provide experimental evidence that HIV-1 TMD contributes to membrane assembly and function of the HIV-1 Envelope. Owing to similarities between functional domains within viruses, these findings suggest that the TMDs and FPs may contribute similarly in other viruses as well.
lipid mixing; HIV-1 envelope; FRET; synthetic peptides; virus-cell fusion
Cell surface receptors are responsible for regulating cellular function on the front line, the cell membrane. Interestingly, accumulating evidence clearly reveals that the members of cell surface receptor families have very similar extracellular ligand-binding regions but opposite signaling systems, either inhibitory or stimulatory. These receptors are designated as paired receptors. Paired receptors often recognize not only physiological ligands but also non-self ligands, such as viral and bacterial products, to fight infections. In this review, we introduce several representative examples of paired receptors, focusing on two major structural superfamilies, the immunoglobulin-like and the C-type lectin-like receptors, and explain how these receptors distinguish self and non-self ligands to maintain homeostasis in the immune system. We further discuss the evolutionary aspects of these receptors as well as the potential drug targets for regulating diseases.
paired receptor; immunoglobulin-like receptor; c-type lectin-like receptor; infectious diseases; tumorigenesis; ITIM; ITAM; structural biology
Chemokines are a class of inflammatory mediators which main function is to direct leukocyte migration through the binding to G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). In addition to these functional, signal-transducing chemokine receptors other types of receptors belonging to the chemokine GPCR family were identified. They are called atypical or decoy chemokine receptors because they bind and degrade chemokines but do not transduce signals or activate cell migration. Here there is the summary of two recent papers that identified other nonchemotactic chemokine receptors: the Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (DARC) that mediates trancytosis of chemokines from tissue to vascular lumen promoting chemokine-mediated leukocyte transmigration and chemokine (CC motif) receptor-like 2 (CCRL2) that neither internalizes its ligands nor transduces signals but presents bound ligands to functional signaling receptors improving their activity. Collectively these nonchemotactic chemokine receptors do not directly induce cell migration, but appear nonetheless to play a nonredundant role in leukocyte recruitment by shaping the chemoattractant gradient, either by removing, transporting or concentrating their cognate ligands.
Chemokine; chemokine receptor; leukocyte recruitment; chemotaxis; transcytosis
Promyelocytic leukemia (PML) protein is the organizer of nuclear matrix-associated nuclear bodies (NBs), and its conjugation to the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) is required for the formation of these structures. Several alternatively spliced PML transcripts from a single PML gene lead to the production of seven PML isoforms (PML isoform I [PMLI] to VII [PMLVII]), which all share a N-terminal region that includes the RBCC (RING, B boxes, and a α-helical coiled-coil) motif but differ in the C-terminal region. This diversity of PML isoforms determines the specific functions of each isoform. There is increasing evidence implicating PML in host antiviral defense and suggesting various strategies involving PML to counteract viral production. We reported that mouse embryonic fibroblasts derived from PML knockout mice are more sensitive than wild-type cells to infection with encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV). Here, we show that stable expression of PMLIV or PMLIVa inhibited viral replication and protein synthesis, leading to a substantial reduction of EMCV multiplication. This protective effect required PMLIV SUMOylation and was not observed with other nuclear PML isoforms (I, II, III, V, and VI) or with the cytoplasmic PMLVII. We demonstrated that only PMLIV interacted with EMCV 3D polymerase (3Dpol) and sequestered it within PML NBs. The C-terminal region specific to PMLIV was required for both interaction with 3Dpol and the antiviral properties. Also, depletion of PMLIV by RNA interference significantly boosted EMCV production in interferon-treated cells. These findings indicate the mechanism by which PML confers resistance to EMCV. They also reveal a new pathway mediating the antiviral activity of interferon against EMCV.