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ABSTRACT: The mechanism of agonist-induced GABA(B) receptor (GABA(B) R) internalization is not well understood. To investigate this process, we focused on the interaction of GABA(B) R with β-arrestins, which are key proteins in the internalization of most of the G protein-coupled receptors, and the agonist-induced GABA(B) R internalization and the interaction of GABA(B) R with β-arrestin1 and β-arrestin2 were investigated in real time using GABA(B) R and β-arrestins both of which were fluorescent protein-tagged. We then compared these profiles with those of μ-opioid receptors (μOR), well-studied receptors that associate and cointernalize with β-arrestins. When stimulated by the specific GABA(B) R agonist baclofen, GABA(B) R composed of GABA(B1a) R (GB(1a) R) and fluorescent protein-tagged GABA(B2) R-Venus (GB₂ R-V) formed functional GABA(B) R; they elicited G protein-activated inwardly rectifying potassium channels as well as nontagged GABA(B) R. In cells coexpressing GB(1a) R, GB₂ R-V, and β-arrestin1-Cerulean (βarr1-C) or β-arrestin2-Cerulean (βarr2-C), real-time imaging studies showed that baclofen treatment neither internalized GB₂ R-V nor mobilized βarr1-C or βarr2-C to the cell surface. This happened regardless of the presence of G protein-coupled receptor kinase 4 (GRK4), which forms a complex with GABA(B) R and causes GABA(B) R desensitization. On the other hand, in cells coexpressing μOR-Venus, GRK2, and βarr1-C or βarr2-C, the μOR molecule formed μOR/βarr1 or μOR/βarr2 complexes on the cell surface, which were then internalized into the cytoplasm in a time-dependent manner. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay also indicated scarce association of GB₂ R-V and β-arrestins-C with or without the stimulation of baclofen, while robust association of μOR-V with β-arrestins-C was detected after μOR activation. These findings suggest that GABA(B) Rs failure to undergo agonist-induced internalization results in part from its failure to interact with β-arrestins.
Synapse 09/2012; 66(9):759-69. DOI:10.1002/syn.21565 · 2.13 Impact Factor