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G Protein-coupled Receptors

III. NEW ROLES FOR RECEPTOR KINASES AND β-ARRESTINS IN RECEPTOR SIGNALING AND DESENSITIZATION*
  • Robert J. Lefkowitz
    Correspondence
    To whom correspondence should be addressed: Depts. of Medicine (Cardiology) and Biochemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Inst., Box 3821, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710. Tel.: 919-684-2974; Fax: 919-684-8875
    Affiliations
    Departments of Medicine (Cardiology) and Biochemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710
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  • Author Footnotes
    * This minireview will be reprinted in the 1998 Minireview Compendium, which will be available in December, 1998. This is the third article of three in the “G Protein-coupled Receptors Minireview Series.”
Open AccessPublished:July 24, 1998DOI:https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.273.30.18677
      Of the many forms of GPCR
      The abbreviations used are: GPCR, G protein-coupled receptor; PKA, protein kinase A; PKC, protein kinase C; βARK, β-adrenergic receptor kinase; GRK, G protein-coupled receptor kinase; MAP kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinase; MEK, MAPK/ERK kinase.
      1The abbreviations used are: GPCR, G protein-coupled receptor; PKA, protein kinase A; PKC, protein kinase C; βARK, β-adrenergic receptor kinase; GRK, G protein-coupled receptor kinase; MAP kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinase; MEK, MAPK/ERK kinase.
      regulation none has received as much attention as the process of receptor desensitization,i.e. the waning responsiveness of the receptors in the face of persistent stimulation (
      • Hausdorff W.P.
      • Caron M.G.
      • Lefkowitz R.J.
      ,
      • Ferguson S.S.G.
      • Barak L.S.
      • Zhang J.
      • Caron M.G.
      ). Numerous mechanisms have been discovered, including those that operate at the transcriptional, translational, and protein levels. The latter category in turn includes mechanisms that regulate the rate of degradation of the receptors. Finally, there are mechanisms for the covalent modification of the receptors as well as for the regulation of their association with other proteins and their subcellular localization (
      • Hausdorff W.P.
      • Caron M.G.
      • Lefkowitz R.J.
      ,
      • Ferguson S.S.G.
      • Barak L.S.
      • Zhang J.
      • Caron M.G.
      ,
      • Koenig J.A.
      • Edwardson J.M.
      ). This brief review is concerned with this last group of mechanisms, which appears to be most important with respect to the rapid (seconds–minutes as opposed to hours or days) control of receptor function.
      Traditionally, receptor desensitization has been viewed as a process antithetical to receptor activation, one which terminates or attenuates receptor signaling. Three families of regulatory molecules have been found to participate in desensitization of heptahelical receptors: second messenger-regulated kinases (e.g. PKA and PKC), GRKs (e.g. βARK, rhodopsin kinase), and the arrestins (visual and non-visual). After briefly reviewing the well established paradigms for regulation of GPCRs by these three families of molecules, I will attempt to demonstrate how newly acquired insights into the function of these receptor regulatory molecules are reshaping understanding of the classical dichotomy between receptor activation and desensitization. The new information suggests that receptor signaling and desensitization are in reality two intimately linked aspects of receptor function and that mechanisms previously viewed as “desensitizing” with respect to one signaling pathway may be “activating” with respect to another.

      ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

      I thank Julie Pitcher, Yehia Daaka, Louis Luttrell, and Randy Hall for critical reading of the manuscript, Yehia Daaka for help with preparation of the figure, and Donna Addison for preparation of the manuscript.

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