Receptors induce chemotaxis by releasing the βγ subunit of Gi, not by activating Gq or Gs

Enid R. Neptune, Henry R. Bourne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

231 Scopus citations


Many chemoattractants cause chemotaxis of leukocytes by stimulating a structurally distinct class of G protein-coupled receptors. To identify receptor functions required for chemotaxis, we studied chemotaxis in HEK293 cells transfected with receptors for nonchemokine ligands or for interleukin 8 (IL-8), a classical chemokine. In gradients of the appropriate agonist, three nonchemokine Gi-coupled receptors (the D2 dopamine receptor and opioid μ and δ receptors) mediated chemotaxis; the β2-adrenoreceptor and the M3-muscarinic receptor, which couple respectively to Gs and Gq, did not mediate chemotaxis. A mutation deleting 31 C-terminal amino acids from the IL-8 receptor type B quantitatively impaired chemotaxis and agonist-induced receptor internalization, but not inhibition of adenylyl cyclase or stimulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase. To probe the possible relation between receptor internalization and chemotaxis, we used two agonists of the μ-opioid receptor. Morphine and etorphine elicited quantitatively similar chemotaxis, but only etorphine induced receptor internalization. Overexpression of two βγ sequestering proteins (βARK-ct and αt) prevented IL-8 receptor type B-mediated chemotaxis but did not affect inhibition of adenylyl cyclase by IL-8. We conclude that: (i) Nonchemokine Gi-coupled receptors can mediate chemotaxis. (ii) Gi activation is necessary but probably not sufficient for chemotaxis. (iii) Chemotaxis does not require receptor internalization. (iv) Chemotaxis requires the release of free βγ subunits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14489-14494
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 23 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemokine receptors
  • Receptor internalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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