cAMP stimulates transcription of the beta 2-adrenergic receptor gene in response to short-term agonist exposure.
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In addition to conveying cellular responses to an effector molecule, receptors are often themselves regulated by their effectors. We have demonstrated that epinephrine modulates both the rate of transcription of the beta 2-adrenergic receptor (beta 2AR) gene and the steady-state level of beta 2AR mRNA in DDT1MF-2 cells. Short-term (30 min) exposure to epinephrine (100 nM) stimulates the rate of beta 2AR gene transcription, resulting in a 3- to 4-fold increase in steady-state beta 2AR mRNA levels. These effects are mimicked by 1 mM N6,O2'-dibutyryladenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (Bt2cAMP) or foskolin but not by phorbol esters. The half-life of the beta 2AR mRNA after addition of actinomycin D (46.7 +/- 10.2 min; mean +/- SEM; n = 5) remained unchanged after 30 min of epinephrine treatment (46.8 +/- 10.6 min; mean +/- SEM; n = 4), indicating that a change in transcription rate is the predominant factor responsible for the increase of beta 2AR mRNA. Whereas brief exposure to epinephrine or Bt2cAMP does not significantly affect the total number of cellular beta 2ARs (assessed by ligand binding), continued exposure results in a gradual decline in beta 2AR number to approximately 20% (epinephrine) or approximately 45% (Bt2cAMP) of the levels in control cells by 24 hr. Similar decreases in agonist-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity are observed. This loss of receptors with prolonged agonist exposure is accompanied by a 50% reduction in beta 2AR mRNA. Transfection of the beta 2AR promoter region cloned onto a reporter gene (bacterial chloramphenicol acetyltransferase) allowed demonstration of a 2- to 4-fold induction of transcription by agents that elevate cAMP levels, such as forskolin or phosphodiesterase inhibitors. These results establish the presence of elements within the proximal promoter region of the beta 2AR gene responsible for the transcriptional enhancing activity of cAMP and demonstrate that beta 2AR gene expression is regulated by a type of feedback mechanism involving the second messenger cAMP.
Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
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James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Cell Biology
Studies of the mechanisms of action and regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters at the cellular and molecular levels constitute the main goals our of research activities. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) mediate the actions of signaling molecules from unicellular organisms to man. We have used adrenergic and dopamine receptors to characterize the structure/function and regulation mechanisms of these prototypes of G protein-coupled receptors. Another approach has been to characterize
James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Dr. Lefkowitz’s memoir, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Stockholm, recounts his early career as a cardiologist and his transition to biochemistry, which led to his Nobel Prize win. 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
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