Dopamine D2 Receptor Relies upon PPM/PP2C Phosphatases to Dephosphorylate Huntingtin Protein [Signal Transduction]

March 11th, 2014 by Marion, S., Urs, N. M., Peterson, S. M., Sotnikova, T. D., Beaulieu, J.-M., Gainetdinov, R. R., Caron, M. G.

Striatal dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) relies upon G protein- and β-arrestin- dependent signaling pathways to convey its action on motor control and behavior. Considering that D2R activation inhibits Akt in the striatum and that huntingtin physiological functions are affected by Akt phosphorylation, we sought to investigate whether D2R-mediated signaling could regulate huntingtin phosphorylation. We demonstrate that D2R activation decreases huntingtin phosphorylation on its Akt site. This dephosphorylation event depends upon the Gαi-dependent engagement of specific members of the protein phosphatases metallo-dependent (PPM/PP2C) family and is independent of β-arrestin 2. These observations identify the PPM/PP2C family as mediator of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling and thereby suggest a novel mechanism of dopaminergic signaling.