Beta-agonist treatment of asthma displays substantial interindividual variation, which has prompted polymorphism discovery and characterization of β 2-adrenergic (β 2AR) signaling genes. β 2AR function undergoes desensitization during persistent agonist exposure because of receptor phosphorylation by G-protein coupled receptor kinases (GRKs). GRK5 was found to be highly expressed in airway smooth muscle, the tissue target for β-agonists. The coding region is polymorphic at codon 41, where Gln can be substituted by Leu (minor allele), but almost exclusively in those of African descent. In transfected cells, GRK5-Leu41 evoked a greater degree of agonist-promoted desensitization of adenylyl cyclase compared with GRK5-Gln41. Consistent with this functional effect, agonist-promoted β 2AR phosphorylation was greater in cells expressing GRK5-Leu41, as was the rate of agonist-promoted receptor internalization. In studies with mutated β 2AR lacking PKA-phosphorylation sites, this phenotype was confirmed as being GRK-specific. So, GRK5-Leu41 represents a gain-of-function polymorphism that evokes enhanced loss-of-function of β 2AR during persistent agonist exposure, and thus may contribute to β-agonist variability in asthma treatment of African-Americans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)