Sequestration of dopamine D2 receptors depends on coexpression of G-protein-coupled receptor kinases 2 or 5

Eur J Biochem. 1999 Feb;260(1):112-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1432-1327.1999.00125.x.


We examined the agonist-dependent sequestration/internalization of dopamine D2 receptor (the long form D2L and short form D2S), which were transiently expressed in COS-7 and HEK 293 cells with or without G-protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRK2 or GRK5). Sequestration was assessed quantitatively by loss of [3H] sulpiride-binding activity from the cell surface and by transfer of [3H] spiperone-binding activity from the membrane fraction to the light vesicle fraction in sucrose-density gradients. In COS-7 cells expressing D2 receptors alone, virtually no sequestration was observed with or without dopamine (< 4%). When GRK2 was coexpressed, 50% of D2S receptors and 36% of D2L receptors were sequestered by treatment with 10(-4) M dopamine for 2 h, whereas no sequestration was observed in cells expressing the dominant negative form of GRK2 (DN-GRK2). When GRK5 was coexpressed, 36% of D2S receptors were sequestered following the same treatment. The agonist-dependent and GRK2-dependent sequestration of D2S receptors was reduced markedly in the presence of hypertonic medium containing 0.45 M sucrose, suggesting that the sequestration follows the clathrin pathway. Internalization of D2S receptors was also assessed by immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. Translocation of D2 receptors from the cell membrane to intracellular vesicles was observed following the treatment with dopamine from HEK 293 cells only when GRK2 was coexpressed. D2S receptors expressed in HEK 293 cells were shown to be phosphorylated by GRK2 in an agonist-dependent manner. These results indicate that the sequestration of D2 receptors occurs only through a GRK-mediated pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • COS Cells
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 2
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 5
  • Gene Expression / genetics
  • Humans
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases*
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics*
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / metabolism*
  • Spiperone / metabolism
  • Sulpiride / metabolism
  • beta-Adrenergic Receptor Kinases


  • Receptors, Dopamine D2
  • Spiperone
  • Sulpiride
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • GRK2 protein, human
  • beta-Adrenergic Receptor Kinases
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 2
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 5
  • GRK5 protein, human
  • Dopamine