Document Type


Publication Date



Recent evidence suggests that many signaling molecules localize in microdomains of the plasma membrane, particularly caveolae. In this study, overexpression of adenylyl cyclase was used as a functional probe of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) compartmentation. We found that three endogenous receptors in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes couple with different levels of efficiency to the activation of adenylyl cyclase type 6 (AC6), which localizes to caveolin-rich membrane fractions. Overexpression of AC6 enhanced the maximal cAMP response to β1-adrenergic receptor (β1AR)-selective activation 3.7-fold, to β2AR-selective activation only 1.6-fold and to prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) not at all. Therefore, the rank order of efficacy in coupling to AC6 is β1AR > β2AR > prostaglandin E2 receptor (EP2R). β2AR coupling efficiency was greater when we overexpressed the receptor or blocked its desensitization by expressing βARKct, an inhibitor of G protein-coupled receptor kinase activation, but was not significantly greater when cells were treated with pertussis toxin. Assessment of receptor and AC expression indicated co-localization of AC5/6, β1AR, and β2AR, but not EP2R, in caveolin-rich membranes and caveolin-3 immunoprecipitates, likely explaining the observed activation of AC6 by βAR subtypes but lack thereof by PGE2. When cardiomyocytes were stimulated with a βAR agonist, β2AR were no longer found in caveolin-3 immunoprecipitates; an effect that was blocked by expression of βARKct. Thus, agonist-induced translocation of β2AR out of caveolae causes a sequestration of receptor from effector and likely contributes to the lower efficacy of β2AR coupling to AC6 as compared with β1AR, which do not similarly translocate. Therefore, spatial co-localization is a key determinant of efficiency of coupling by particular extracellular signals to activation of GPCR-linked effectors.


This article was originally published in Journal of Biological Chemistry, volume 276, in 2001. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M105348200


American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.