The 5-hydroxytryptamine 2A (5-HT2A) receptor is a member of the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily (GPCR) and plays a key role in transducing a variety of cellular signals elicited by serotonin (5-HT; 5-hydroxytryptamine) in both peripheral and central tissues. Recently, we discovered that the ERK/ MAPK effector p90 ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2) phosphorylates the 5-HT2A receptor and attenuates 5-HT2A receptor signaling. This raised the intriguing possibility of a regulatory paradigm whereby receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) attenuate GPCR signaling (i.e., "inhibitory cross-talk") by activating RSK2 [Strachan et al. (2009) J. Biol. Chem. 284, 5557-5573]. We report here that activation of multiple endogenous RTKs such as the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), the platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), and ErbB4 significantly attenuates 5-HT2A receptor signaling in a variety of cell types including mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), mouse vascular smooth muscle cells (mVSMCs), and primary cortical neurons. Importantly, genetic deletion of RSK2 completely prevented signal attenuation, thereby suggesting that RSK2 is a critical mediator of inhibitory cross-talk between RTKs and 5-HT2A receptors. We also discovered that P2Y purinergic receptor signaling was similarly attenuated following EGFR activation. By directly testing multiple endogenous growth factors/RTK pathways and multiple Gq-coupled GPCRs, we have now established a cellular mechanism whereby RTK signaling cascades act via RSK2 to attenuate GPCR signaling. Given the pervasiveness of growth factor signaling, this novel regulatory mechanism has the potential to explain how 5-HT2A receptors are regulated in vivo, with potential implications for human diseases in which 5-HT2A or RTK activity is altered (e.g., neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders).
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