The CC chemokine receptor CCR5 mediates chemotaxis of leukocytes and serves as a principal co-receptor for macrophage-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1. To identify determinants on the CCR5 carboxyl-terminal domain that regulate receptor signaling and internalization, we generated several CCR5 mutants, which were progressively shortened from the COOH terminus or had carboxyl-terminal serine, cysteine, or leucine residues substituted by alanine and expressed them in RBL-2H3 cells. Using fluorescence resonance energy transfer between β-arrestin and CCR5 tagged with cyan and yellow variants of green fluorescent protein, we show that high affinity association of the two molecules in living cells requires intact carboxyl-terminal serine phosphorylation sites. Phosphorylation-deficient truncation or Ser/Ala replacement mutants of CCR5 mediated a sustained calcium response and enhanced granular enzyme release in RANTES-stimulated cells. Carboxyl-terminal serine residues are critically involved in CCR5 endocytosis and a dileucine motif, similar to that implicated in the regulation of CXCR2 and CXCR4, contributes to the internalization of CCR5 in a phosphorylation-independent manner. Despite their prominent role in receptor desensitization and internalization, β-arrestins are dispensable for the CCR5-mediated stimulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in RBL-2H3 cells. We also show that CCR5 is palmitoylated on carboxyl-terminal cysteine residues. Inhibition of CCR5 palmitoylation by alanine mutagenesis of cysteines or treatment with a palmitate analogue inhibitor profoundly reduces phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate- and RANTES-induced receptor phosphorylation, homologous desensitization, and internalization. Alanine mutagenesis of serine, cysteine, or leucine residues or the limited carboxyl-terminal truncation of CCR5 did not impair chemokine-stimulated migration of RBL-2H3 cells. Together these results indicate that post-translational modifications of carboxyl-terminal serine and cysteine residues have a significant impact on receptor deactivation and internalization.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)