Sub-picomolar relaxin signalling by a pre-assembled RXFP1, AKAP79, AC2, beta-arrestin 2, PDE4D3 complex

Michelle Halls, Dermot Cooper

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Biochemical studies suggest that G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) achieve exquisite signalling specificity by forming selective complexes, termed signalosomes. Here, using cAMP biosensors in single cells, we uncover a pre-assembled, constitutively active GPCR signalosome, that couples the relaxin receptor, relaxin family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1), to cAMP following receptor stimulation with sub-picomolar concentrations of peptide. The physiological effects of relaxin, a pleiotropic hormone with therapeutic potential in cancer metastasis and heart failure, are generally attributed to local production of the peptide, that occur in response to sub-micromolar concentrations. The highly sensitive signalosome identified here provides a regulatory mechanism for the extremely low levels of relaxin that circulate. The signalosome includes requisite GI?s, GI?I? and adenylyl cyclase 2 (AC2); AC2 is functionally coupled to RXFP1 through AKAP79 binding to helix 8 of the receptor; activation of AC2 is tonically opposed by protein kinase A (PKA)-activated PDE4D3, scaffolded through a I?-arrestin 2 interaction with Ser704 of the receptor C-terminus. This elaborate, pre-assembled, ligand-independent GPCR signalosome represents a new paradigm in GPCR signalling and provides a mechanism for the distal actions of low circulating levels of relaxin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2772 - 2787
Number of pages16
JournalThe EMBO Journal
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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