MRGPRX2-Mediated Degranulation of Human Skin Mast Cells Requires the Operation of Gαi, Gαq, Ca++ Channels, ERK1/2 and PI3K - Interconnection between Early and Late Signaling
The recent discovery of MRGPRX2 explains mast cell (MC)-dependent symptoms independently of FcεRI-activation. Because of its novelty, signaling cascades triggered by MRGPRX2 are rudimentarily understood, especially in cutaneous MCs, by which MRGPRX2 is chiefly expressed. Here, MCs purified from human skin were used following preculture or ex vivo and stimulated by FcεRI-aggregation or MRGPRX2 agonists (compound 48/80, Substance P) in the presence/absence of inhibitors. Degranulation was assessed by β-hexosaminidase or histamine release. Phosphorylation events were studied by immunoblotting. As a G protein-coupled receptor, MRGPRX2 signals by activating G proteins; however, their nature has remained controversial. In skin MCs, Gαi and Gαq were required for degranulation, but Gαi was clearly more relevant. Ca++ channels were likewise crucial. Downstream, PI3K was essential for granule discharge initiated by MRGPRX2 or FcεRI. ERK1/2 and JNK were additional participants, especially in the allergic route. Addressing possible points of intersection between early and later events, pERK1/2 and pAKT were found to depend on Gαi, further highlighting its significance. Gαq and Ca++ channels made some contributions to the phosphorylation of ERK. Ca++ differentially affected PI3K activation in FcεRI-vis-à-vis MRGPRX2-signaling, as channel inhibition increased pAKT only when triggered via FcεRI. Collectively, our study significantly extends our understanding of the molecular framework behind granule secretion from skin MCs.