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Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Jun;110(3):465-502. Epub 2006 Feb 3.

The structural basis of arrestin-mediated regulation of G-protein-coupled receptors.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.


The 4 mammalian arrestins serve as almost universal regulators of the largest known family of signaling proteins, G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Arrestins terminate receptor interactions with G proteins, redirect the signaling to a variety of alternative pathways, and orchestrate receptor internalization and subsequent intracellular trafficking. The elucidation of the structural basis and fine molecular mechanisms of the arrestin-receptor interaction paved the way to the targeted manipulation of this interaction from both sides to produce very stable or extremely transient complexes that helped to understand the regulation of many biologically important processes initiated by active GPCRs. The elucidation of the structural basis of arrestin interactions with numerous non-receptor-binding partners is long overdue. It will allow the construction of fully functional arrestins in which the ability to interact with individual partners is specifically disrupted or enhanced by targeted mutagenesis. These "custom-designed" arrestin mutants will be valuable tools in defining the role of various interactions in the intricate interplay of multiple signaling pathways in the living cell. The identification of arrestin-binding sites for various signaling molecules will also set the stage for designing molecular tools for therapeutic intervention that may prove useful in numerous disorders associated with congenital or acquired disregulation of GPCR signaling.

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