The glucagon-like peptide-1 incretin receptor (GLP-1R) of family B G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is a major drug target in type-2-diabetes due to its regulatory effect on post-prandial blood-glucose levels. The mechanism(s) controlling GLP-1R mediated signaling are far from fully understood. A fundamental mechanism controlling the signaling capacity of GPCRs is the post-endocytic trafficking of receptors between recycling and degradative fates. Here, we combined microscopy with novel real-time assays to monitor both receptor trafficking and signaling in living cells. We find that the human GLP-1R internalizes rapidly and with similar kinetics in response to equipotent concentrations of GLP-1 and the stable GLP-1 analogues exendin-4 and liraglutide. Receptor internalization was confirmed in mouse pancreatic islets. GLP-1R is shown to be a recycling receptor with faster recycling rates mediated by GLP-1 as compared to exendin-4 and liraglutide. Furthermore, a prolonged cycling of ligand-activated GLP-1Rs was observed and is suggested to be correlated with a prolonged cAMP signal.
Keywords: Fluorescent microscopy; Glucagon-like peptide-1; Real-time TR-FRET; Seven transmembrane-spanning receptors/G protein-coupled receptors; Trafficking; cAMP signaling.
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