G protein-coupled receptors: What a difference a 'partner' makes

Benoit T. Roux, Graeme S. Cottrell

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24 Citations (SciVal)
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G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are important cell signaling mediators, involved in essential physiological processes. GPCRs respond to a wide variety of ligands from light to large macromolecules, including hormones and small peptides. Unfortunately, mutations and dysregulation of GPCRs that induce a loss of function or alter expression can lead to disorders that are sometimes lethal. Therefore, the expression, trafficking, signaling and desensitization of GPCRs must be tightly regulated by different cellular systems to prevent disease. Although there is substantial knowledge regarding the mechanisms that regulate the desensitization and down-regulation of GPCRs, less is known about the mechanisms that regulate the trafficking and cell-surface expression of newly synthesized GPCRs. More recently, there is accumulating evidence that suggests certain GPCRs are able to interact with specific proteins that can completely change their fate and function. These interactions add on another level of regulation and flexibility between different tissue/cell-types. Here, we review some of the main interacting proteins of GPCRs. A greater understanding of the mechanisms regulating their interactions may lead to the discovery of new drug targets for therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1112-1142
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2014


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