Allosteric signaling through an mGlu2 and 5-HT2A heteromeric receptor complex and its potential contribution to schizophrenia

José L. Moreno et al.
2016-01-12

Heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide–binding protein (G protein)–coupled receptors (GPCRs) can form multiprotein complexes (heteromers), which can alter the pharmacology and functions of the constituent receptors. Previous findings demonstrated that the Gq/11-coupled serotonin 5-HT2A receptor and the Gi/o-coupled metabotropic glutamate 2 (mGlu2) receptor—GPCRs that are involved in signaling alterations associated with psychosis—assemble into a heteromeric complex in the mammalian brain. In single-cell experiments with various mutant versions of the mGlu2 receptor, we showed that stimulation of cells expressing mGlu2–5-HT2A heteromers with an mGlu2 agonist led to activation of Gq/11 proteins by the 5-HT2A receptors. For this crosstalk to occur, one of the mGlu2 subunits had to couple to Gi/o proteins, and we determined the relative location of the Gi/o-contacting subunit within the mGlu2 homodimer of the heteromeric complex. Additionally, mGlu2-dependent activation of Gq/11, but not Gi/o, was reduced in the frontal cortex of 5-HT2A knockout mice and was reduced in the frontal cortex of postmortem brains from schizophrenic patients. These findings offer structural insights into this important target in molecular psychiatry.

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