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Science. 1990 Jun 22;248(4962):1547-50.

beta-Arrestin: a protein that regulates beta-adrenergic receptor function.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Medicine, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Durham, NC 27710.


Homologous or agonist-specific desensitization of beta-adrenergic receptors is thought to be mediated by a specific kinase, the beta-adrenergic receptor kinase (beta ARK). However, recent data suggest that a cofactor is required for this kinase to inhibit receptor function. The complementary DNA for such a cofactor was cloned and found to encode a 418-amino acid protein homologous to the retinal protein arrestin. The protein, termed beta-arrestin, was expressed and partially purified. It inhibited the signaling function of beta ARK-phosphorylated beta-adrenergic receptors by more than 75 percent, but not that of rhodopsin. It is proposed that beta-arrestin in concert with beta ARK effects homologous desensitization of beta-adrenergic receptors.

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