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J Biol Chem. 2002 Feb 1;277(5):3552-9. Epub 2001 Oct 15.

Recruitment of activated G protein-coupled receptors to pre-existing clathrin-coated pits in living cells.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Institut Cochin de Génétique Moléculaire, Pavillon Gustave Roussy, 75679 Paris CEDEX 14, France.


The process of clathrin-mediated endocytosis tightly regulates signaling of the superfamily of seven-transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). A fundamental question in the cell biology of membrane receptor endocytosis is whether activated receptors can initiate the formation of clathrin-coated pits (CPs) or whether they are simply mobilized to pre-existing CPs. Here, using various approaches, including a dynamic assay to monitor the distribution of CPs and GPCR-beta-arrestin complexes in live HeLa cells, we demonstrate for the first time that activated GPCRs do not initiate the de novo formation of CPs but instead are targeted to pre-existing CPs.

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