Novel down-regulatory mechanism of the surface expression of the vasopressin V2 receptor by an alternative splice receptor variant

José M. Sarmiento, Carolina C. Añazco, Danae M. Campos, Gregory N. Prado, Javier Navarro, Carlos B. González

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In rat kidney, two alternatively spliced transcripts are generated from the V2 vasopressin receptor gene. The large transcript (1.2 kb) encodes the canonical V2 receptor, whereas the small transcript encodes a splice variant displaying a distinct sequence corresponding to the putative seventh transmembrane domain and the intracellular C terminus of the V 2 receptor. This work showed that the small spliced transcript is translated in the rat kidney collecting tubules. However, the protein encoded by the small transcript (here called the V2b splice variant) is retained inside the cell, in contrast to the preferential surface distribution of the V2 receptor (here called the V2a receptor). Cells expressing the V2b splice variant do not exhibit binding to 3H-labeled vasopressin. Interestingly, we found that expression of the splice variant V2b down-regulates the surface expression of the V2a receptor, most likely via the formation of V2a· V2b heterodimers as demonstrated by co-immunoprecipitation and fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments between the V2a receptor and the V2b splice variant. The V2b splice variant would then be acting as a dominant negative. The effect of the V 2b splice variant is specific, as it does not affect the surface expression of the G protein-coupled interleukin-8 receptor (CXCR1). Furthermore, the sequence encompassing residues 242-339, corresponding to the C-terminal domain of the V2b splice variant, also down-regulates the surface expression of the V2a receptor. We suggest that some forms of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus are due to overexpression of the splice variant V2b, which could retain the wild-type V2a receptor inside the cell via the formation of V2a·V2b heterodimers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47017-47023
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 5 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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