G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRK) and arrestins act in concert to ensure rapid termination of G protein- mediated signaling by G protein-coupled receptors. Dopaminergic signaling via striatal dopamine receptors play a critical role in controlling multiple forms of behavior in the normal and diseased brain. Abnormalities of signaling by dopamine receptors have been strongly implicated in Parkinson's disease (PD) and motor complications caused by dopamine replacement therapy such as L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia. Dopamine receptors undergo GRK- and arrestin-dependent desensitization, and deficits in this process may underlie signaling abnormalities caused by the loss of dopamine or by dopaminergic drugs in PD. The lentivirus- mediated overexpression of GRK6 in the dopamine-depleted striatum normalizes behavior and dopamine receptor signaling in the rodent and primate animal models of PD, suggesting a critical role for GRKs in the regulation of dopamine receptors in the brain. This project is designed to explore the role of GRKs and arrestins in the dopaminergic regulation of behavior in live animals as well as fine molecular mechanisms of the GRK function in vivo.
First Aim will examine specific roles of GRK isoforms in antagonizing L-DOPA- induced rotations and behavioral sensitization to L-DOPA in hemiparkinsonian rats. We will inject lentiviruses encoding wild type GRK isoforms, mutant GRKs with different functions selectively disabled, or GRK microRNAs to knockdown select isoforms into the dopamine-depleted striatum and test for rotational behavior following repeated L-DOPA administration.
The Aim 2 is designed to test whether simultaneous overexpression of an arrestin and a GRK is more potent than overexpression of the same GRK alone in suppressing L-DOPA-induced motor symptoms.
In Aim 3, we will examine the alterations in down-stream signaling pathways caused by perturbations in the GRK expression or function.
In Aim 4, the feasibility of harnessing the receptor desensitization process to improve therapy in Parkinson's disease will be examined. The results of these experiments will help to sort out specific roles of GRK and arrestin isoforms in regulating dopaminergic signaling in the brain in vivo. The studies will pave the way to development of novel therapeutic approaches to control motor deficits in Parkinsons'disease and complications of L-DOPA therapy.

Public Health Relevance

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes movement problems treated with levodopa, which is an effective drug but looses effectiveness in time and has severe side effects. We do not know what causes problems with levodopa therapy or its produces its side effects. This project is designed to explore whether the proteins called arrestins and G protein-coupled receptor kinases play a role in complications of the levodopa therapy.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Molecular Neuropharmacology and Signaling Study Section (MNPS)
Program Officer
Sieber, Beth-Anne
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Gurevich, Vsevolod V; Gurevich, Eugenia V (2018) GPCRs and Signal Transducers: Interaction Stoichiometry. Trends Pharmacol Sci 39:672-684
Cleghorn, Whitney M; Bulus, Nada; Kook, Seunghyi et al. (2018) Non-visual arrestins regulate the focal adhesion formation via small GTPases RhoA and Rac1 independently of GPCRs. Cell Signal 42:259-269
Zurkovsky, Lilia; Sedaghat, Katayoun; Ahmed, M Rafiuddin et al. (2017) Arrestin-2 and arrestin-3 differentially modulate locomotor responses and sensitization to amphetamine. Neuropharmacology 121:20-29
Indrischek, Henrike; Prohaska, Sonja J; Gurevich, Vsevolod V et al. (2017) Uncovering missing pieces: duplication and deletion history of arrestins in deuterostomes. BMC Evol Biol 17:163
Gurevich, Vsevolod V; Gurevich, Eugenia V (2017) Molecular Mechanisms of GPCR Signaling: A Structural Perspective. Int J Mol Sci 18:
Gurevich, Eugenia V; Gainetdinov, Raul R; Gurevich, Vsevolod V (2016) G protein-coupled receptor kinases as regulators of dopamine receptor functions. Pharmacol Res 111:1-16
Zhan, Xuanzhi; Stoy, Henriette; Kaoud, Tamer S et al. (2016) Peptide mini-scaffold facilitates JNK3 activation in cells. Sci Rep 6:21025
Gurevich, Eugenia V (2016) Unraveling the Mechanism of Dyskinesia One Transcription Factor at a Time. Biol Psychiatry 79:338-340
Ahmed, Mohamed R; Bychkov, Evgeny; Li, Lingyong et al. (2015) GRK3 suppresses L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in the rat model of Parkinson's disease via its RGS homology domain. Sci Rep 5:10920
Gurevich, Vsevolod V; Gurevich, Eugenia V (2015) Analyzing the roles of multi-functional proteins in cells: The case of arrestins and GRKs. Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol 50:440-52

Showing the most recent 10 out of 42 publications