Visualization of β-adrenergic receptor dynamics and differential localization in cardiomyocytes


  • M. Bathe-Peters
  • P. Gmach
  • H.H. Boltz
  • J. Einsiedel
  • M. Gotthardt
  • H. Hübner
  • P. Gmeiner
  • M.J. Lohse
  • P. Annibale


  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America


  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 118 (23): e2101119118


  • A key question in receptor signaling is how specificity is realized, particularly when different receptors trigger the same biochemical pathway(s). A notable case is the two β‐adrenergic receptor (β‐AR) subtypes, β(1) and β(2), in cardiomyocytes. They are both coupled to stimulatory G(s) proteins, mediate an increase in cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), and stimulate cardiac contractility; however, other effects, such as changes in gene transcription leading to cardiac hypertrophy, are prominent only for β(1)‐AR but not for β(2)-AR. Here, we employ highly sensitive fluorescence spectroscopy approaches, in combination with a fluorescent β‐AR antagonist, to determine the presence and dynamics of the endogenous receptors on the outer plasma membrane as well as on the T-tubular network of intact adult cardiomyocytes. These techniques allow us to visualize that the β(2)‐AR is confined to and diffuses within the T-tubular network, as opposed to the β(1)‐AR, which is found to diffuse both on the outer plasma membrane as well as on the T-tubules. Upon overexpression of the β(2)‐AR, this compartmentalization is lost, and the receptors are also seen on the cell surface. Such receptor segregation depends on the development of the T-tubular network in adult cardiomyocytes since both the cardiomyoblast cell line H9c2 and the cardiomyocyte-differentiated human-induced pluripotent stem cells express the β(2)‐AR on the outer plasma membrane. These data support the notion that specific cell surface targeting of receptor subtypes can be the basis for distinct signaling and functional effects.