Arrestin serves as a molecular switch, linking endogenous α2-adrenergic receptor to SRC-dependent, but not SRC-independent, ERK activation

Academic Article


  • Our previous studies have demonstrated that neither receptor endocytosis nor arrestin is required for ERK activation by the α - adrenergic receptor (Wang, Q., Zhao, J., Brady, A. E., Feng, J., Allen, P. B., Lefkowitz, R. J., Greengard, P., and Limbird, L. E. (2004) Science 304, 1940-1944). The present studies address whether arrestin plays a role in determining the route of α AR-evoked ERK signaling activation, taking advantage of endogenous expression of the α AR subtype in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and the availability of MEFs without arrestin expression (derived from Arr2,3 mice). Our data demonstrate that the endogenous α AR evokes ERK phosphorylation through both a Src-dependent and a Src-independent pathway, both of which are G protein dependent and converge on the Ras-Raf-MEK pathway. Arrestin is essential to recruit Src to this process, as α AR- mediated ERK signaling in Arr2,3 MEFs does not involve Src. Stimulation of α AR enhances arrestin-Src interaction and promotes activation of Src. α agonists have similar potencies in stimulating Src-dependent and Src-independent ERK phosphorylation in wild-type and Arr2,3 cells, respectively. However, Src-independent α AR-mediated ERK stimulation has both a longer duration of activation and a more rapid translocation of pERK into the nucleus when compared with Src-dependent activation. These data not only affirm the role of arrestin as an escort for signaling molecules such as Src family kinases but also demonstrate the impact of arrestin-dependent modulation on both the temporal and spatial properties of ERK activation. © 2006 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. 2 2 2A 2A 2A 2A 2 2A -/- -/- -/-
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wang Q; Lu R; Zhao J; Limbird LE
  • Start Page

  • 25948
  • End Page

  • 25955
  • Volume

  • 281
  • Issue

  • 36