The V2 vasopressin receptor stimulates ERK1/2 activity independently of heterotrimeric G protein signalling

Pascale G. Charest, Geneviève Oligny-Longpré, Hélène Bonin, Mounia Azzi, Michel Bouvier

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58 Scopus citations


The V2 vasopressin receptor (V2R) activates the mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK) ERK1/2 through a mechanism involving the scaffolding protein βarrestin. Here we report that this activating pathway is independent of Gαs, Gαi, Gαq or Gβγ and that the V2R-mediated activation of Gαs inhibits ERK1/2 activity in a cAMP/PKA-dependent manner. In the HEK293 cells studied, the βarrestin-promoted activation was found to dominate over the PKA-mediated inhibition of the pathway, leading to a strong vasopressin-stimulated ERK1/2 activation. Despite the strong MAPK activation and in contrast with other GPCR, V2R did not induce any significant increase in DNA synthesis, consistent with the notion that the stable interaction between V2R and βarrestin prevents signal propagation to the nucleus. βarrestin was found to be essential for the ERK1/2 activation, indicating that the recruitment of the scaffolding protein is necessary and sufficient to initiate the signal in the absence of any other stimulatory cues. Based on the use of selective pharmacological inhibitors, dominant negative mutants and siRNA, we conclude that the βarrestin-dependent activation of ERK1/2 by the V2R involves c-Src and a metalloproteinase-dependent trans-activation event. These findings demonstrate that βarrestin is a genuine signalling initiator that can, on its own, engage a MAPK activation machinery upon stimulation of a GPCR by its natural ligand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-41
Number of pages10
JournalCellular Signalling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Extra-cellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2
  • GPCR
  • MAPK
  • V2 vasopressin receptor
  • βarrestin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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