Molecular biology of the cell 2017 06 1428(17) 2267-2281 doi 10.1091/mbc.E16-09-0627
GPR15 is an orphan G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that serves for an HIV coreceptor and was also recently found as a novel homing receptor for T-cells implicated in colitis. We show that GPR15 undergoes a constitutive endocytosis in the absence of ligand. The endocytosis was clathrin dependent and partially dependent on β-arrestin in HEK293 cells, and nearly half of the internalized GPR15 receptors were recycled to the plasma membrane. An Ala mutation of the distal C-terminal Arg-354 or Ser-357, which forms a consensus phosphorylation site for basophilic kinases, markedly reduced the endocytosis, whereas phosphomimetic mutation of Ser-357 to Asp did not. Ser-357 was phosphorylated in vitro by multiple kinases, including PKA and PKC, and pharmacological activation of these kinases enhanced both phosphorylation of Ser-357 and endocytosis of GPR15. These results suggested that Ser-357 phosphorylation critically controls the ligand-independent endocytosis of GPR15. The functional role of Ser-357 in endocytosis was distinct from that of a conserved Ser/Thr cluster in the more proximal C-terminus, which was responsible for the β-arrestin- and GPCR kinase-dependent endocytosis of GPR15. Thus phosphorylation signals may differentially control cell surface density of GPR15 through endocytosis.