Different kinases desensitize the human delta-opioid receptor (hDOP-R) in the neuroblastoma cell line SK-N-BE upon peptidic and alkaloid agonists

Author(s): Marie N, Aguila B, Hasbi A, Davis A, Jauzac P, et al.


In a previous work, we described a differential desensitization of the human delta-opioid receptor (hDOP-R) by etorphine (a non-selective and alkaloid agonist) and delta-selective and peptidic agonists (DPDPE ([D-Pen(2,5)]enkephalin) and deltorphin I (Tyr-D-Ala-Phe-Asp-Val-Val-Gly-NH(2))) in the neuroblastoma cell line SK-N-BE (Allouche et al., Eur. J. Pharmacol., 371, 235, 1999). In the present study, we explored the putative role of different kinases in this differential regulation. First, selective chemical inhibitors of PKA, PKC and tyrosine kinases were used and we showed a significant reduction of etorphine-induced opioid receptor desensitization by the bisindolylmaleimide I (PKC inhibitor) while genistein (tyrosine kinase inhibitor) was potent to impair desensitization induced by the different agonists. When the PKA was inhibited by H89 pretreatment, no modification of opioid receptor desensitization was observed whatever the agonist used. Second, we further studied the role of G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) and by using western-blot experiments we observed that only the GRK2 isoform was expressed in the SK-N-BE cells. Next, the neuroblastoma cells were transfected with the wild type GRK2 or its dominant negative mutant GRK2-K220R and the inhibition on cAMP level was determined in naïve and agonist-pretreated cells. We showed that over-expression of GRK2-K220R totally abolished etorphine-induced receptor desensitization while no effect was observed with peptidic agonists and over-expression of GRK2 selectively impaired cAMP inhibition promoted by etorphine suggesting that this kinase was involved in the regulation of hDOP-R activated only by etorphine. Third, correlation between functional experiments and phosphorylation of the hDOP-R after agonist activation was assessed by western-blot using the specific anti-phospho-DOP-R Ser(363) antibody. While all agonists were potent to increase phosphorylation of opioid receptor, we showed no impairment of receptor phosphorylation level after PKC inhibitor pretreatment. Upon agonist activation, no enhancement of receptor phosphorylation was observed when the GRK2 was over-expressed while the GRK2-K220R partially reduced the hDOP-R Ser(363) phosphorylation only after peptidic agonists pretreatment. In conclusion, hDOP-R desensitization upon etorphine exposure relies on the GRK2, PKC and tyrosine kinases while DPDPE and deltorphin I mediate desensitization at least via tyrosine kinases. Although the Ser(363) was described as the primary phosphorylation site of the mouse DOP-R, we observed no correlation between desensitization and phosphorylation of this amino acid.

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