Cellular signalling

Specific interactions between Epac1, β-arrestin2 and PDE4D5 regulate β-adrenergic receptor subtype differential effects on cardiac hypertrophic signaling.

PMID 23266473


β1 and β2 adrenergic receptors (βARs) are highly homologous but fulfill distinct physiological and pathophysiological roles. Here we show that both βAR subtypes activate the cAMP-binding protein Epac1, but they differentially affect its signaling. The distinct effects of βARs on Epac1 downstream effectors, the small G proteins Rap1 and H-Ras, involve different modes of interaction of Epac1 with the scaffolding protein β-arrestin2 and the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase (PDE) variant PDE4D5. We found that β-arrestin2 acts as a scaffold for Epac1 and is necessary for Epac1 coupling to H-Ras. Accordingly, knockdown of β-arrestin2 prevented Epac1-induced histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) nuclear export and cardiac myocyte hypertrophy upon β1AR activation. Moreover, Epac1 competed with PDE4D5 for interaction with β-arrestin2 following β2AR activation. Dissociation of the PDE4D5-β-arrestin2 complex allowed the recruitment of Epac1 to β2AR and induced a switch from β2AR non-hypertrophic signaling to a β1AR-like pro-hypertrophic signaling cascade. These findings have implications for understanding the molecular basis of cardiac myocyte remodeling and other cellular processes in which βAR subtypes exert opposing effects.