The regulatory mechanisms of cell surface targeting of nascent G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) en route from the endoplasmic reticulum through the Golgi remain poorly understood. We have recently demonstrated that three Golgi-localized, γ-adaptin ear domain homology, ADP ribosylation factor-binding proteins (GGAs) mediate the post-Golgi export of α2B-adrenergic receptor (α2B-AR), a prototypic GPCR, and directly interact with the receptor. In particular, GGA1 interaction with α2B-AR is mediated via its hinge domain. Here we determined the role of a naturally occurring truncated form of GGA1 (GGA1t) which lacks the N-terminal portion of the hinge domain in α2B-AR trafficking and elucidated the underlying mechanisms. We demonstrated that both GGA1 and GGA1t were colocalized and mainly expressed at the Golgi. In marked contrast to GGA1, the expression of GGA1t significantly attenuated the cell surface export of newly synthesized α2B-AR from the Golgi and in parallel receptor-mediated signaling. Furthermore, we found that GGA1t formed homodimers and heterodimers with GGA1. More interestingly, GGA1t was unable to bind the cargo α2B-AR and to recruit clathrin onto the trans-Golgi network. These data provide evidence implicating that the truncated form of GGA1 behaviors as a dominant-negative regulator for the cell surface export of α2B-AR and this function of GGA1t is attributed to its abilities to dimerize with its wide type counterpart and to inhibit cargo interaction and clathrin recruitment to form specialized transport vesicles.
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