Deraredj Nadim W., Chaumont-Dubel S., Madouri F., Cobret L., De Tauzia M.-L., Zajdel P., Bénédetti H., Marin P. and Morisset-Lopez S.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (2016) 113 (43) 12310-12315 - doi : 10.1073/pnas.1600914113
Active G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) conformations not only are promoted by agonists but also occur in their absence, leading to constitutive activity. Association of GPCRs with intracellular protein partners might be one of the mechanisms underlying GPCR constitutive activity. Here, we show that serotonin 5 hydroxytryptamine 6 (5-HT6) receptor constitutively activates the Gs/adenylyl cyclase pathway in various cell types, including neurons. Constitutive activity is strongly reduced by silencing expression of the Ras-GTPase activating protein (Ras-GAP) neurofibromin, a 5-HT6 receptor partner. Neurofibromin is a multidomain protein encoded by the NF1 gene, the mutation of which causes Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a genetic disorder characterized by multiple benign and malignant nervous system tumors and cognitive deficits. Disrupting association of 5-HT6 receptor with neurofibromin Pleckstrin Homology (PH) domain also inhibits receptor constitutive activity, and PH domain expression rescues 5-HT6 receptor-operated cAMP signaling in neurofibromin-deficient cells. Furthermore, PH domains carrying mutations identified in NF1 patients that prevent interaction with the 5-HT6 receptor fail to rescue receptor constitutive activity in neurofibromin-depleted cells. Further supporting a role of neurofibromin in agonist-independent Gs signaling elicited by native receptors, the phosphorylation of cAMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB) is strongly decreased in prefrontal cortex of Nf1+/− mice compared with WT mice. Moreover, systemic administration of a 5-HT6 receptor inverse agonist reduces CREB phosphorylation in prefrontal cortex of WT mice but not Nf1+/− mice. Collectively, these findings suggest that disrupting 5-HT6 receptor–neurofibromin interaction prevents agonist-independent 5-HT6 receptor-operated cAMP signaling in prefrontal cortex, an effect that might underlie neuronal abnormalities in NF1 patients.