Volume 13 Supplement 1

18th Scientific Symposium of the Austrian Pharmacological Society (APHAR)

Open Access

Restricted collision coupling of the adenosine A2Areceptor is due to its agonist-induced confinement in the membrane

  • Patrick Thurner1,
  • Simon Keuerleber1,
  • Ingrid Gsandtner1,
  • Christoph Gruber1,
  • Michael Freissmuth1 and
  • Jürgen Zezula1Email author
BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology201213(Suppl 1):A81

DOI: 10.1186/2050-6511-13-S1-A81

Published: 17 September 2012

Background

The A2A adenosine receptor is of interest because of several reasons. (i) It is a frequently blocked pharmacological target, because it is the site of action of caffeine. (ii) It has a long C-terminus that provides a docking site for several proteins, which direct the fate of the receptor from its synthesis to its lysosomal degradation. (iii) The A2A receptor can only promote activation of a limited number of available Gs molecules. This coupling mode was termed restricted collision coupling. (iv) Most G protein-coupled receptors carry one or several cysteine residues in their C-terminus which is subject to palmitoylation to anchor and stabilize the amphipathic helix 8; the A2A receptor lacks this palmitoylation site. We explored the hypothesis that there is a causal link between the absence of a palmitoyl moiety and restricted collision coupling.

Methods

We constructed a mutant A2A receptor, R309C, which underwent palmitoylation as verified by both mass spectrometry and metabolic labeling. Radioligand binding, cAMP accumulation and Western blotting were performed to determine its signaling properties. Using single particle tracking of quantum dot-labeled receptors we compared diffusivity and diffusion mode of wild-type and mutant A2A receptors.

Results

In contrast to the wild-type receptor, the concentration-response curve for agonist-induced cAMP accumulation was shifted to the left with increasing expression levels of A2A receptor R309C. Single particle tracking demonstrated that agonist activation resulted in a decline in mean square displacement of both receptors, but the drop was substantially more pronounced for the wild-type receptor. In addition, in the agonist-bound state, the wild-type receptor was frequently subject to confinement events; these were rarely seen with the palmitoylated A2A receptor R309C.

Conclusions

Taken together, the observations link restricted collision coupling to diffusion limits imposed by the absence of a palmitoyl moiety in the C-terminus of the A2A receptor.

Declarations

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Austrian Sciences Fund (FWF) and the Medical University of Vienna.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Institute of Pharmacology, Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna

Copyright

© Thurner et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Advertisement