Stimulation of beta2-adrenergic receptors on the cell surface by adrenaline or noradrenaline leads to alterations in the metabolism, excitability, differentiation and growth of many cell types. These effects have traditionally been thought to be mediated exclusively by receptor activation of intracellular G proteins. However, certain physiological effects of beta2-adrenergic receptor stimulation, notably the regulation of cellular pH by modulation of Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE) function, do not seem to be entirely dependent on G-protein activation. We report here a direct agonist-promoted association of the beta2-adrenergic receptor with the Na+/H+ exchanger regulatory factor (NHERF), a protein that regulates the activity of the Na+/H+ exchanger type 3 (NHE3). NHERF binds to the beta2-adrenergic receptor by means of a PDZ-domain-mediated interaction with the last few residues of the carboxy-terminal cytoplasmic domain of the receptor. Mutation of the final residue of the beta2-adrenergic receptor from leucine to alanine abolishes the receptor's interaction with NHERF and also markedly alters beta2-adrenergic receptor regulation of NHE3 in cells without altering receptor-mediated activation of adenylyl cyclase. Our findings indicate that agonist-dependent beta2-adrenergic receptor binding of NHERF plays a role in beta2-adrenergic receptor-mediated regulation of Na+/H+ exchange.
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