The trafficking of G protein coupled‐receptors (GPCRs) is one of the most exciting areas in cell biology because of recent advances demonstrating that GPCR signaling is spatially encoded. GPCRs, acting in a diverse array of physiological systems, can have differential signaling consequences depending on their subcellular localization. At the plasma membrane, GPCR organization could fine‐tune the initial stages of receptor signaling by determining the magnitude of signaling and the type of effectors to which receptors can couple. This organization is mediated by the lipid composition of the plasma membrane, receptor‐receptor interactions, and receptor interactions with intracellular scaffolding proteins. GPCR organization is subsequently changed by ligand binding and the regulated endocytosis of these receptors. Activated GPCRs can modulate the dynamics of their own endocytosis through changing clathrin‐coated pit dynamics, and through the scaffolding adaptor protein β‐arrestin. This endocytic regulation has signaling consequences, predominantly through modulation of the MAPK cascade. This review explores what is known about receptor sorting at the plasma membrane, protein partners that control receptor endocytosis, and the ways in which receptor sorting at the plasma membrane regulates downstream trafficking and signaling.
It has become increasingly apparent that G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) localization is a master regulator of cell signaling. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this process are not well understood. To date, observations of intracellular GPCR activation can be organized into two categories: a dependence on OCT3 cationic channel-permeable ligands or the necessity of endocytic trafficking. Using CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) as a model, we identified a third mechanism of intracellular GPCR signaling. We show that independent of membrane permeable ligands and endocytosis, upon stimulation, plasma membrane and internal pools of CXCR4 are post-translationally modified and collectively regulate EGR1 transcription. We found that β-arrestin-1 (arrestin 2) is necessary to mediate communication between plasma membrane and internal pools of CXCR4. Notably, these observations may explain that while CXCR4 overexpression is highly correlated with cancer metastasis and mortality, plasma membrane localization is not. Together these data support a model where a small initial pool of plasma membrane-localized GPCRs are capable of activating internal receptor-dependent signaling events.
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- National Science Foundation
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Abstract Background information
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