Heterologous desensitization of cardiac β-adrenergic signal via hormone-induced βaR/arrestin/PDE4 complexes

Qian Shi, Minghui Li, Delphine Mika, Qin Fu, Sungjin Kim, Jason Phan, Ao Shen, Gregoire Vandecasteele, Yang Kevin Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Aims Cardiac β-adrenergic receptor (βAR) signalling is susceptible to heterologous desensitization by different neurohormonal stimuli in clinical conditions associated with heart failure. We aim to examine the underlying mechanism of cross talk between βARs and a set of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) activated by hormones/agonists. Methods and results Rat ventricular cardiomyocytes were used to determine heterologous phosphorylation of βARs under a series of GPCR agonists. Activation of G s -coupled dopamine receptor, adenosine receptor, relaxin receptor and prostaglandin E2 receptor, and G q -coupled α 1 adrenergic receptor and angiotensin II type 1 receptor promotes phosphorylation of β 1 AR and β 2 AR at putative protein kinase A (PKA) phosphorylation sites; but activation of G i -coupled α 2 adrenergic receptor and activation of protease-activated receptor does not. The GPCR agonists that promote β 2 AR phosphorylation effectively inhibit βAR agonist isoproterenol-induced PKA phosphorylation of phospholamban and contractile function in ventricular cardiomyocytes. Heterologous GPCR stimuli have minimal to small effect on isoproterenol-induced β 2 AR activation and G-protein coupling for cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) production. However, these GPCR stimuli significantly promote phosphorylation of phosphodiesterase 4D (PDE4D), and recruit PDE4D to the phosphorylated β 2 AR in a β-arrestin 2 dependent manner without promoting β 2 AR endocytosis. The increased binding between β 2 AR and PDE4D effectively hydrolyzes cAMP signal generated by subsequent stimulation with isoproterenol. Mutation of PKA phosphorylation sites in β 2 AR, inhibition of PDE4, or genetic ablation of PDE4D or β-arrestin 2 abolishes this heterologous inhibitory effect. Ablation of β-arrestin 2 or PDE4D gene also rescues β-adrenergic stimuli-induced myocyte contractile function. Conclusions These data reveal essential roles of β-arrestin 2 and PDE4D in a common mechanism for heterologous desensitization of cardiac βARs under hormonal stimulation, which is associated with impaired cardiac function during the development of pathophysiological conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)656-670
Number of pages15
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Heterologous desensitization
  • Phosphodiesterase 4
  • PKA
  • PKC
  • β-Arrestin 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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