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Development and Characterization of Pepducins as Gs-biased Allosteric Agonists

Carr et al., J Biol Chem. (2014) - PMID: 25395624

Product(s) used in this publication:  Specialty Peptides

Abstract:

The β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) is a prototypical G protein-coupled receptor that mediates many hormonal responses, including cardiovascular and pulmonary function. β-Agonists used to combat hypercontractility in airway smooth muscle stimulate β2AR-dependent cAMP production that ultimately promotes airway relaxation. Chronic stimulation of the β2AR by long acting β-agonists used in the treatment of asthma can promote attenuated responsiveness to agonists and an increased frequency of fatal asthmatic attacks. β2AR desensitization to β-agonists is primarily mediated by G protein-coupled receptor kinases and β-arrestins that attenuate receptor-Gs coupling and promote β2AR internalization and degradation. A biased agonist that can selectively stimulate Gs signaling without promoting receptor interaction with G protein-coupled receptor kinases and β-arrestins should serve as an advantageous asthma therapeutic. To identify such molecules, we screened ∼50 lipidated peptides derived from the intracellular loops of the β2AR, known as pepducins. This screen revealed two classes of Gs-biased pepducins, receptor-independent and receptor-dependent, as well as several β-arrestin-biased pepducins. The receptor-independent Gs-biased pepducins operate by directly stimulating G protein activation. In contrast, receptor-dependent Gs-biased pepducins appear to stabilize a Gs-biased conformation of the β2AR that couples to Gs but does not undergo G protein-coupled receptor kinase-mediated phosphorylation or β-arrestin-mediated internalization. Functional studies in primary human airway smooth muscle cells demonstrate that Gs-biased pepducins are not subject to conventional desensitization and thus may be good candidates for the development of next generation asthma therapeutics. Our study reports the first Gs-biased activator of the β2AR and provides valuable tools for the study of β2AR function.

© 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

KEYWORDS:

Adrenergic Receptor; Asthma; Biased Agonist; Drug Discovery; Functional Selectivity; G Protein-coupled Receptor (GPCR); Pepducin; Peptides; Signal Transduction; β2-Adrenergic Receptor

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