Identification of targeting signals in human P2Y receptors in polarized MDCK(II) epithelial cells Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
  • Wolff, Samuel Carey
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, UNC Neuroscience Center, Neuroscience Curriculum
  • P2Y receptors, which belong to the G-protein coupled receptor superfamily, play prominent roles in epithelial cell physiology, such as regulated ion transport and response to stress. Published studies utilizing indirect, pharmacology assays suggested a polarized distribution of P2Y receptors in a variety of epithelial cells. Therefore, we examined directly the distribution pattern of the entire P2Y receptor family in MDCK(II) epithelial cells by confocal microscopy as well as the localization of the Gq-coupled P2Y receptors (P2Y1, P2Y2, P2Y4, P2Y6, and P2Y11) in epithelial cells from lung and colon. Our results showed that seven of the eight receptor subtypes are localized to either the apical or basolateral membrane surface of MDCK(II) cells. Moreover, a nearly identical pattern of distribution was observed in the other epithelial cell types (Wolff et al., 2005). The polarized targeting of cell-surface proteins is mediated by the protein-sorting machinery of the cell, which reads and interprets targeting signals contained within the primary sequence of polarized proteins and ensures delivery to the correct subcellular location. We postulated that P2Y receptors contain targeting signals that direct their polarized sorting in epithelial cells. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed a series of P2Y receptor mutants and chimeras, which allowed us to locate the targeting signals for all of the polarized P2Y receptor subtypes. Once the locations of the apical or basolateral targeting signals were determined, we fully characterized the basolateral targeting signal of the P2Y1 receptor and the apical targeting signal of the P2Y4 receptor, both of which are located in the C-terminal tail. The results of these studies demonstrated that the basolateral signal of the P2Y1 receptor is 25 amino acids in length and functions in a sequence-independent manner, with charged residues playing a key role in targeting, while the apical signal of the P2Y4 receptor is 23 amino acids long with no remarkable features or key amino acids identified as of yet. In this dissertation, we describe a series of experiments that completely characterized the apical and basolateral signals of these two purinergic receptors.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Nicholas, Robert
  • Open access

This work has no parents.