Identification of phosphorylation sites in the G protein-coupled receptor for parathyroid hormone. Receptor phosphorylation is not required for agonist-induced internalization

Mol Endocrinol. 1998 Dec;12(12):1846-56. doi: 10.1210/mend.12.12.0203.


In some G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), agonist-dependent phosphorylation by specific GPCR kinases (GRKs) is an important mediator of receptor desensitization and endocytosis. Phosphorylation and the subsequent events that it triggers, such as arrestin binding, have been suggested to be regulatory mechanisms for a wide variety of GPCRs. In the present study, we investigated whether agonist-induced phosphorylation of the PTH receptor, a class II GPCR, also regulates receptor internalization. Upon agonist stimulation, the PTH receptor was exclusively phosphorylated on serine residues. Phosphoamino acid analysis of a number of receptor mutants in which individual serine residues had been replaced by threonine identified serine residues in positions 485, 486, and 489 of the cytoplasmic tail as sites of phosphorylation after agonist treatment. When serine residues at positions 483, 485, 486, 489, 495, and 498 were simultaneously replaced by alanine residues, the PTH receptor was no longer phosphorylated either basally or in response to PTH. The substitution of these serine residues by alanine affected neither the number of receptors expressed on the cell surface nor the ability of the receptor to signal via Gs. Overexpression of GRK2, but not GRK3, enhanced PTH-stimulated receptor phosphorylation, and this phosphorylation was abolished by alanine mutagenesis of residues 483, 485, 486, 489, 495, and 498. Thus, phosphorylation of the PTH receptor by the endogenous kinase in HEK-293 cells occurs on the same residues targeted by overexpressed GRK2. Strikingly, the rate and extent of PTH-stimulated internalization of mutated PTH receptors lacking phosphorylation sites were identical to that observed for the wild-type PTH receptor. Moreover, overexpressed GRK2, while enhancing the phosphorylation of the wild-type PTH receptor, had no affect on the rate or extent of receptor internalization in response to PTH. Thus, the agonist-occupied PTH receptor is phosphorylated by a kinase similar or identical to GRK2 in HEK-293 cells, but this phosphorylation is not requisite for efficient receptor endocytosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arrestin / metabolism
  • Binding Sites
  • Cattle
  • Cell Line
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Endocytosis
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 3
  • GTP-Binding Proteins*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Immunosorbent Techniques
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Opossums
  • Parathyroid Hormone / pharmacology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phosphoserine / analysis
  • Phosphoserine / metabolism
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases*
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Receptors, Parathyroid Hormone / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Parathyroid Hormone / genetics
  • Receptors, Parathyroid Hormone / metabolism*
  • beta-Adrenergic Receptor Kinases


  • Arrestin
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Receptors, Parathyroid Hormone
  • Phosphoserine
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 3
  • GRK3 protein, human
  • beta-Adrenergic Receptor Kinases
  • GTP-Binding Proteins