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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Desensitization of MCH Signaling Most Likely Due to Sequestration of Signaling Components Rather Than Removal of Receptors from the Plasma Membrane

Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is an important regulator of appetite control and is a target for treatment of eating disorders. The G-Protein Coupled Receptorís for MCH can be found located in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract and adipose tissue. MCHR1 is thought to desensitize to repeated activation via clathrin-mediated endocytosis, where the receptor is physically pulled off the membrane. Research performed by our group; however, shows that MCHR1 does not internalize efficiently without the assistance of beta-arrestin overexpression. This indicates that in normal circumstances within the body, there is another desensitization method which is probably used for MCHR1. We hypothesize that caveolae play a role in regulating MCH signaling through sequestration to lipid rafts. First, we verified colocalization of MCHR1 to caveolae and then asked whether MCH mediates changes in the localization of receptor to lipid rafts. Results confirmed that MCHR1 is co-localized with caveolin-1 in numerous cell types. Surprisingly, we were unable to detect MCH-mediated changes in the location of MCHR1 on sucrose flotation gradients. We are now transitioning these studies to a more physiologically relevant model system.

Presenter: Lauren Field (SUNY Brockport) -- lfiel1@brockport.edu
Topic: Biology - Panel
Location: 122 Hartwell
Time: 11:25 am (Session II)