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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2001 Aug;79(8):631-9.

Dynamics of internalization and sequestration of guanylyl cyclase/atrial natriuretic peptide receptor-A.

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Department of Physiology, Tulane University School of Medicine Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


The guanylyl cyclase/natriuretic peptide receptor-A (NPRA), also referred to as GC-A, is a single polypeptide molecule. In its mature form, NPRA resides in the plasma membrane and consists of an extracellular ligand-binding domain, a single transmembrane-spanning region, and intracellular cytoplasmic domain that contains a protein kinase-like homology domain (KHD) and a guanylyl cyclase (GC) catalytic active site. The binding of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) to NPRA occurs at the plasma membrane; the receptor is synthesized on the polyribosomes of the endoplasmic reticulum, and is presumably degraded within the lysosomes. It is apparent that NPRA is a dynamic cellular macromolecule that traverses through different compartments of the cell through its lifetime. This review describes the experiments addressing the interaction of ANP with the NPRA, the receptor-mediated internalization and stoichiometric distribution of ANP-NPRA complexes from cell surface to cell interior, and its release into culture media. It is hypothesized that after internalization, the ligand-receptor complexes dissociate inside the cell and a population of NPRA recycles back to plasma membrane. Subsequently, some of the dissociated ligand molecules escape the lysosomal degradative pathway and are released intact into culture media, which reenter the cell by retroendocytotic mechanisms. By utilizing the pharmacologic and physiologic perturbants, the emphasis has been placed on the cellular regulation and processing of ligand-receptor complexes in intact cells. I conclude the discussion by examining the data available on the utilization of deletion mutations of NPRA cDNA, which has afforded experimental insights into the mechanisms the cell utilizes in modulating the expression and functioning of NPRA.

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