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Glucagon-mediated internalization of serine-phosphorylated glucagon receptor and Gsalpha in rat liver.

Merlen C., Fabrega S., Desbuquois B., Unson C.G., Authier F.

To assess glucagon receptor compartmentalization and signal transduction in liver parenchyma, we have studied the functional relationship between glucagon receptor endocytosis, phosphorylation and coupling to the adenylate cyclase system. Following administration of a saturating dose of glucagon to rats, a rapid internalization of glucagon receptor was observed coincident with its serine phosphorylation both at the plasma membrane and within endosomes. Co-incident with glucagon receptor endocytosis, a massive internalization of both the 45- and 47-kDa Gsalpha proteins was also observed. In contrast, no change in the subcellular distribution of adenylate cyclase or beta-arrestin 1 and 2 was observed. In response to des-His(1)-[Glu(9)]glucagon amide, a glucagon receptor antagonist, the extent and rate of glucagon receptor endocytosis and Gsalpha shift were markedly reduced compared with wild-type glucagon. However, while the glucagon analog exhibited a wild-type affinity for endosomal acidic glucagonase activity and was processed at low pH with similar kinetics and rates, its proteolysis at neutral pH was 3-fold lower. In response to tetraiodoglucagon, a glucagon receptor agonist of enhanced biological potency, glucagon receptor endocytosis and Gsalpha shift were of higher magnitude and of longer duration, and a marked and prolonged activation of adenylate cyclase both at the plasma membrane and in endosomes was observed. The subsequent post-endosomal fate of internalized Gsalpha was evaluated in a cell-free rat liver endosome-lysosome fusion system following glucagon injection. A sustained endo-lysosomal transfer of the two 45- and 47-kDa Gsalpha isoforms was observed. Therefore, these results reveal that within hepatic target cells and consequent to glucagon-mediated internalization of the serine-phosphorylated glucagon receptor and the Gsalpha protein, extended signal transduction may occur in vivo at the locus of the endo-lysosomal apparatus.

FEBS Lett. 580:5697-5704(2006) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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