Internalization of G protein-coupled receptors can be triggered by agonists or by other stimuli. The process begins within seconds of cell activation and contributes to receptor desensitization. The Rab GTPase family controls endocytosis, vesicular trafficking, and endosomal fusion. Among their remarkable properties is the differential distribution of its members on the surface of various organelles. In the endocytic pathway, Rab 5 controls traffic from the plasma membrane to early endosomes, whereas Rab 4 and Rab 11 regulate rapid and slow recycling from early endosomes to the plasma membrane, respectively. Moreover, Rab 7 and Rab 9 regulate the traffic from late endosomes to lysosomes and recycling to the trans-Golgi. We explore the possibility that α1B-adrenergic receptor internalization induced by agonists (homologous) and by unrelated stimuli (heterologous) could involve different Rab proteins. This possibility was explored by Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) using cells coexpressing α1B-adrenergic receptors tagged with the red fluorescent protein, DsRed, and different Rab proteins tagged with the green fluorescent protein. It was observed that when α1B-adrenergic receptors were stimulated with noradrenaline, the receptors interacted with proteins present in early endosomes, such as the early endosomes antigen 1, Rab 5, Rab 4, and Rab 11 but not with late endosome markers, such as Rab 9 and Rab 7. In contrast, sphingosine 1-phosphate stimulation induced rapid and transient α1B-adrenergic receptor interaction of relatively small magnitude with Rab 5 and a more pronounced and sustained one with Rab 9; interaction was also observed with Rab 7. Moreover, the GTPase activity of the Rab proteins appears to be required because no FRET was observed when dominant-negative Rab mutants were employed. These data indicate that α1B-adrenergic receptors are directed to different endocytic vesicles depending on the desensitization type (homologous vs. heterologous).
Última actualización: 19/12/2018