Mammalian type I gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptors undergo slow, constitutive, agonist-independent internalization
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Endocrinology. - Philadelphia, Pa
, p. 1415-1422
Regulatory elements present in the cytoplasmic carboxyl-terminal tails of G protein-coupled receptors contribute to agonist-dependent receptor desensitization, internalization, and association with accessory proteins such as beta-arrestin. The mammalian type I GnRH receptors are unique among the rhodopsin-like G protein-coupled receptors because they lack a cytoplasmic carboxyl-terminal tail. In addition, they do not recruit beta-arrestin, nor do they undergo rapid desensitization. By measuring the internalization of labeled GnRH agonists, previous studies have reported that mammalian type I GnRH receptors undergo slow agonist-dependent internalization. In the present study, we have measured the internalization of epitope-tagged GnRH receptors, both in the absence and presence of GnRH stimulation. We demonstrate that mammalian type I GnRH receptors exhibit a low level of constitutive agonist-independent internalization. Stimulation with GnRH agonist did not significantly enhance the level of receptor internalization above the constitutive level. In contrast, the catfish GnRH and rat TRH receptors, which have cytoplasmic carboxyl-terminal tails, displayed similar levels of constitutive agonist-independent internalization but underwent robust agonist-dependent internalization, as did chimeras of the mammalian type I GnRH receptor with the cytoplasmic carboxyl-terminal tails of the catfish GnRH receptor or the rat TRH receptor. When the carboxyl-terminal Tyr325 and Leu328 residues of the mammalian type I GnRH receptor were replaced with alanines, these two mutant receptors underwent significantly impaired internalization, suggesting a function for the Tyr-X-X-Leu sequence in mediating the constitutive agonist-independent internalization of mammalian type I GnRH receptors. These findings provide further support for the underlying notion that the absence of the cytoplasmic carboxyl-terminal tail of the mammalian type I GnRH receptors has been selected for during evolution to prevent rapid receptor desensitization and internalization to allow protracted GnRH signaling in mammals.