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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2000 May;21(5):175-80.

Using green fluorescent proteins to study G-protein-coupled receptor localization and trafficking.

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  • 1SmithKline Beecham, 709 Swedeland Road, UW 2112, King of Prussia, PA 19406


G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediate a diverse array of biological functions as a result of their ability to respond selectively to extracellular stimuli, which ultimately results in cell-specific activation of signaling cascades. Generally, GPCR activation is followed rapidly by a loss of responsiveness, termed desensitization, which is then followed by a period of recovery or resensitization. These changes in signaling potential are tightly regulated, primarily via mechanisms that involve GPCR phosphorylation and trafficking to distinct locations within the cell. Tagging of GPCRs with the green fluorescent protein (GFP) has enabled the direct visualization of real-time trafficking of GPCRs in living cells. Such analyses have provided crucial insight into the mechanisms involved in controlling GPCR function.

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