Differential Long-term Regulation of TAS2R14 by Structurally Distinct Agonists

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desensitization, internalization, down-regulation, β-arrestin, [Ca2+]i

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Bitter taste receptor-14 (TAS2R14) is a GPCR also expressed on human airway smooth muscle cells, which signals to intracellular [Ca2+], resulting in relaxation of the airway, and is a novel target for bronchodilators. Here, we examine long-term, agonist-promoted down-regulation of TAS2R14 expression because tachyphylaxis would be an undesirable therapeutic characteristic. Five TAS2R structurally distinct full agonists were studied to ascertain biasing away from down-regulation. Agonist exposure for 18 h caused minimal desensitization by diphenhydramine (DPD) compared with ~50% desensitization with all other agonists. Agonists evoked β-arrestin recruitment to TAS2R14, which was not seen with a phosphoacceptor-deficient mutant, TAS2R14-10A. All agonists except for DPD also caused subsequent TAS2R14 internalization and trafficking via early and late endosomes to down-regulation. TAS2R14-10A failed to undergo these events with any agonist. Molecular docking showed that DPD has specific interactions deep within a binding pocket that are not observed with the other agonists, which may lock the receptor in a conformation that does not internalize and therefore does not undergo down-regulation. Thus, TAS2R14 is subject to β-arrestin-mediated internalization and subsequent down-regulation with chronic exposure to most agonists. However, by manipulating the agonist structure, biasing toward G-protein coupling but away from long-term down-regulation can be achieved.—Woo, J. A., Castaño, M., Goss, A., Kim, D., Lewandowski, E. M., Chen, Y., Liggett, S. B. Differential long-term regulation of TAS2R14 by structurally distinct agonists. FASEB J. 33, 12213-12225 (2019). www.fasebj.org

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The FASEB Journal, v. 33, issue 11, p. 12213-12225