Estradiol potentiates 8-OH-DPAT-induced sumoylation of 5-HT1A receptor: Characterization and subcellular distribution of sumoylated 5-HT1A receptors

Qian Li, Nancy A. Muma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Sumoylation is a recently described post-translational modification and only a few sumoylated neurotransmitter receptors are known. Through the present studies, we discovered that serotonin1A receptors (5-HT1A-Rs) can be sumoylated by SUMO1 (small-ubiquitin-related modifier 1) protein. The SUMO1-5-HT1A-R is ~55kDa, is located in the membrane fraction, but not the cytosol, and is distributed in all of the brain regions expressing 5-HT1A-Rs examined. Acute stimulation of 5-HT1A-Rs significantly increased SUMO1-5-HT1A-R in rat hypothalamus. Pre-treatment with estradiol for 2 days, which causes a partial desensitization of 5-HT1A-R signaling, potentiated agonist-induced increases in SUMO1-5-HT1A-Rs in the hypothalamus of ovariectomized rats. Using discontinuous gradient centrifugation followed by digitonin treatment, we found that the majority of SUMO1-5-HT1A-Rs is co-localized with endoplasmic-reticulum and trans-Golgi-network markers. Although a small proportion of SUMO1-5-HT1A-Rs are located in the detergent resistant microdomain (DRM) that contain active G-protein coupled receptors, their distribution was different from that of the Gαz protein that couples to the receptors. These data suggest that the SUMO1-5-HT1A-Rs are an inactive form of 5-HT1A-Rs, a finding further supported by results showing minimal 5-HT1A-R agonist binding to SUMO1-5-HT1A-Rs. Furthermore, SUMO1-5-HT1A-Rs in the DRM were increased by treatment with a 5-HT1A-R agonist, 8-OH-DPAT ((+)8-hydroxy-2-dipropylaminotetralin). Together, these data suggest that sumoylation of 5-HT1A-Rs may be related to 5-HT1A-R trafficking and internalization, which may contribute to 5-HT1A-R desensitization. Since 5-HT1A-Rs play an important role in mood regulation, the present results significantly impact on the understanding of the pathogenesis of affective disorders and development of better therapeutic approaches for these diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2542-2553
Number of pages12
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • Estradiol
  • Fluoxetine
  • Hypothalamus
  • Lipid raft
  • SUMO1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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