Reciprocal in vivo regulation of myocardial G protein-coupled receptor kinase expression by beta-adrenergic receptor stimulation and blockade.
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BACKGROUND: Impaired myocardial beta-adrenergic receptor (betaAR) signaling, including desensitization and functional uncoupling, is a characteristic of congestive heart failure. A contributing mechanism for this impairment may involve enhanced myocardial beta-adrenergic receptor kinase (betaARK1) activity because levels of this betaAR-desensitizing G protein-coupled receptor kinase (GRK) are increased in heart failure. An hypothesis has emerged that increased sympathetic nervous system activity associated with heart failure might be the initial stimulus for betaAR signaling alterations, including desensitization. We have chronically treated mice with drugs that either activate or antagonize betaARs to study the dynamic relationship between betaAR activation and myocardial levels of betaARK1. METHODS AND RESULTS: Long-term in vivo stimulation of betaARs results in the impairment of cardiac +betaAR signaling and increases the level of expression (mRNA and protein) and activity of +betaARK1 but not that of GRK5, a second GRK abundantly expressed in the myocardium. Long-term beta-blocker treatment, including the use of carvedilol, improves myocardial betaAR signaling and reduces betaARK1 levels in a specific and dose-dependent manner. Identical results were obtained in vitro in cultured cells, demonstrating that the regulation of GRK expression is directly linked to betaAR signaling. CONCLUSIONS: This report demonstrates, for the first time, that betaAR stimulation can significantly increase the expression of betaARK1 , whereas beta-blockade decreases expression. This reciprocal regulation of betaARK1 documents a novel mechanism of ligand-induced betaAR regulation and provides important insights into the potential mechanisms responsible for the effectiveness of beta-blockers, such as carvedilol, in the treatment of heart failure.
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
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James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D. is James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry at the Duke University Medical Center. He has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1976. Dr. Lefkowitz began his research career in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when there was not a clear consensus that specific receptors for drugs and hormones even existed. His group spent 15 difficult years developing techniques for labeling the receptors wit