GPR35 is a poorly characterized G protein-coupled receptor at which kynurenic acid has been suggested to be the endogenous ligand. We wished to test this and develop assays appropriate for the study of this receptor.
Chronic activation of Wnt/?-catenin signaling is found in a variety of human malignancies including melanoma, colorectal and hepatocellular carcinomas. Interestingly, expression of the HCMV-encoded chemokine receptor US28 in intestinal epithelial cells promotes intestinal neoplasia in transgenic mice, which is associated with increased nuclear accumulation of ?-catenin. In this study we show that this viral receptor constitutively activates ?-catenin and enhances ?-catenin-dependent transcription. Our data illustrate that this viral receptor does not activate ?-catenin via the classical Wnt/Frizzled signaling pathway. Analysis of US28 mediated signaling indicates the involvement of the Rho-Rho kinase (ROCK) pathway in the activation of ?-catenin. Moreover, cells infected with HCMV show significant increases in ?-catenin stabilization and signaling, which is mediated to a large extent by expression of US28. The modulation of the ?-catenin signal transduction pathway by a viral chemokine receptor provides alternative regulation of this pathway, with potential relevance for the development of colon cancer and virus-associated diseases.
The chemokine receptor CXCR7 binds CXCL11 and CXCL12 with high affinity, chemokines that were previously thought to bind exclusively to CXCR4 and CXCR3, respectively. Expression of CXCR7 has been associated with cardiac development as well as with tumor growth and progression. Despite having all the canonical features of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), the signalling pathways following CXCR7 activation remain controversial, since unlike typical chemokine receptors, CXCR7 fails to activate G?(i)-proteins. CXCR7 has recently been shown to interact with ?-arrestins and such interaction has been suggested to be responsible for G protein-independent signals through ERK-1/2 phosphorylation. Signal transduction by CXCR7 is controlled at the membrane by the process of GPCR trafficking. In the present study we investigated the regulatory processes triggered by CXCR7 activation as well as the molecular interactions that participate in such processes. We show that, CXCR7 internalizes and recycles back to the cell surface after agonist exposure, and that internalization is not only ?-arrestin-mediated but also dependent on the Serine/Threonine residues at the C-terminus of the receptor. Furthermore we describe, for the first time, the constitutive ubiquitination of CXCR7. Such ubiquitination is a key modification responsible for the correct trafficking of CXCR7 from and to the plasma membrane. Moreover, we found that CXCR7 is reversibly de-ubiquitinated upon treatment with CXCL12. Finally, we have also identified the Lysine residues at the C-terminus of CXCR7 to be essential for receptor cell surface delivery. Together these data demonstrate the differential regulation of CXCR7 compared to the related CXCR3 and CXCR4 receptors, and highlight the importance of understanding the molecular determinants responsible for this process.
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