Shutoff and agonist-triggered internalization of protease-activated receptor 1 can be separated by mutation of putative phosphorylation sites in the cytoplasmic tail

Biochemistry. 1999 Jul 20;38(29):9308-16. doi: 10.1021/bi9902236.


The thrombin receptor PAR1 becomes rapidly phosphorylated upon activation by either thrombin or exogenous SFLLRN agonist peptide. Substitution of alanine for all serine and threonine residues in the receptor's cytoplasmic carboxyl-terminal tail ablated phosphorylation and yielded a receptor defective in both shutoff and agonist-triggered internalization. These observations suggested that activation-dependent phosphorylation of PAR1's cytoplasmic tail is required for both shutoff and agonist-triggered internalization. To identify the phosphorylation site(s) that are necessary for these functions, we generated three mutant receptors in which alanine was substituted for serine and threonine residues in the amino-terminal, middle, and carboxyl-terminal thirds of PAR1's cytoplasmic tail. When stably expressed in fibroblasts, all three mutated receptors were rapidly phosphorylated in response to agonist, while a mutant in which all serines and threonines in the cytoplasmic tail were converted to alanines was not. This result suggests that phosphorylation can occur at multiple sites in PAR1's cytoplasmic tail. Alanine substitutions in the N-terminal and C-terminal portions of the tail had no effect on either receptor shutoff or agonist-triggered internalization. By contrast, alanine substitutions in the "middle" serine cluster between Ser(391) and Ser(406) yielded a receptor with considerably slower shutoff of signaling after thrombin activation than the wild type. Surprisingly, this same mutant was indistinguishable from the wild type in agonist-triggered internalization and degradation. Overexpression of G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) and GRK3 "suppressed" the shutoff defect of the S --> A (391-406) mutant, consistent with this defect being due to altered receptor phosphorylation. These results suggest that specific phosphorylation sites are required for rapid receptor shutoff, but phosphorylation at multiple alternative sites is sufficient for agonist-triggered internalization. The observation that internalization and acute shutoff were dissociated by mutation of PAR1 suggests that there are quantitative or qualitative differences in the requirements or mechanisms for these two processes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alanine / genetics
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Cell Line
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / physiology
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism*
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 2
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 3
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Peptide Fragments / genetics*
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism*
  • Peptide Fragments / physiology
  • Peptide Mapping
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases*
  • Rats
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology
  • Receptor, PAR-1
  • Receptors, Thrombin / agonists
  • Receptors, Thrombin / genetics*
  • Receptors, Thrombin / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Thrombin / physiology
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Serine / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • beta-Adrenergic Receptor Kinases


  • Peptide Fragments
  • Receptor, PAR-1
  • Receptors, Thrombin
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Serine
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 3
  • GRK3 protein, human
  • Grk2 protein, rat
  • Grk3 protein, rat
  • beta-Adrenergic Receptor Kinases
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 2
  • Alanine