Many signal transduction systems have an apparent redundancy built into them, where multiple physiological agonists activate the same receptors. Whether this is true redundancy, or whether this provides an as-yet unrecognized specificity in downstream signaling, is not well understood. We address this question using the kappa opioid receptor (KOR), a physiologically relevant G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that is activated by multiple members of the Dynorphin family of opioid peptides. We show that two related peptides, Dynorphin A and Dynorphin B, bind and activate KOR to similar extents in mammalian neuroendocrine cells and rat striatal neurons, but localize KOR to distinct intracellular compartments and drive different post-endocytic fates of the receptor. Strikingly, localization of KOR to the degradative pathway by Dynorphin A induces sustained KOR signaling from these compartments. Our results suggest that seemingly redundant endogenous peptides can fine-tune signaling by regulating the spatiotemporal profile of KOR signaling.
Data generated and analyzed in this study are included in the manuscript. The study did not generate new sequencing or structural data.
- Jennifer M Kunselman
- Manojkumar A Puthenveedu
- Manojkumar A Puthenveedu
- Lakshmi A Devi
- Lakshmi A Devi
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Suzanne R Pfeffer, Stanford University School of Medicine, United States
© 2021, Kunselman et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
mTORC1 senses nutrients and growth factors and phosphorylates downstream targets, including the transcription factor TFEB, to coordinate metabolic supply and demand. These functions position mTORC1 as a central controller of cellular homeostasis, but the behavior of this system in individual cells has not been well characterized. Here, we provide measurements necessary to refine quantitative models for mTORC1 as a metabolic controller. We developed a series of fluorescent protein-TFEB fusions and a multiplexed immunofluorescence approach to investigate how combinations of stimuli jointly regulate mTORC1 signaling at the single-cell level. Live imaging of individual MCF10A cells confirmed that mTORC1-TFEB signaling responds continuously to individual, sequential, or simultaneous treatment with amino acids and the growth factor insulin. Under physiologically relevant concentrations of amino acids, we observe correlated fluctuations in TFEB, AMPK, and AKT signaling that indicate continuous activity adjustments to nutrient availability. Using partial least squares regression modeling, we show that these continuous gradations are connected to protein synthesis rate via a distributed network of mTORC1 effectors, providing quantitative support for the qualitative model of mTORC1 as a homeostatic controller and clarifying its functional behavior within individual cells.
Insufficient insulin secretion to meet metabolic demand results in diabetes. The intracellular flux of Ca2+ into β-cells triggers insulin release. Since genetics strongly influences variation in islet secretory responses, we surveyed islet Ca2+ dynamics in eight genetically diverse mouse strains. We found high strain variation in response to four conditions: (1) 8 mM glucose; (2) 8 mM glucose plus amino acids; (3) 8 mM glucose, amino acids, plus 10 nM glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP); and (4) 2 mM glucose. These stimuli interrogate β-cell function, α- to β-cell signaling, and incretin responses. We then correlated components of the Ca2+ waveforms to islet protein abundances in the same strains used for the Ca2+ measurements. To focus on proteins relevant to human islet function, we identified human orthologues of correlated mouse proteins that are proximal to glycemic-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms in human genome-wide association studies. Several orthologues have previously been shown to regulate insulin secretion (e.g. ABCC8, PCSK1, and GCK), supporting our mouse-to-human integration as a discovery platform. By integrating these data, we nominate novel regulators of islet Ca2+ oscillations and insulin secretion with potential relevance for human islet function. We also provide a resource for identifying appropriate mouse strains in which to study these regulators.