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Cell. 2005 Jul 29;122(2):261-73.

An Akt/beta-arrestin 2/PP2A signaling complex mediates dopaminergic neurotransmission and behavior.

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Department of Cell Biology, Center for Models of Human Disease, Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


Dopamine plays an important role in the etiology of schizophrenia, and D2 class dopamine receptors are the best-established target of antipsychotic drugs. Here we show that D2 class-receptor-mediated Akt regulation involves the formation of signaling complexes containing beta-arrestin 2, PP2A, and Akt. beta-arrestin 2 deficiency in mice results in reduction of dopamine-dependent behaviors, loss of Akt regulation by dopamine in the striatum, and disruption of the dopamine-dependent interaction of Akt with its negative regulator, protein phosphatase 2A. Importantly, canonical cAMP-mediated dopamine-receptor signaling is not inhibited in the absence of beta-arrestin 2. These results demonstrate that, apart from its classical function in receptor desensitization, beta-arrestin 2 also acts as a signaling intermediate through a kinase/phosphatase scaffold. Furthermore, this function of beta-arrestin 2 is important for the expression of dopamine-associated behaviors, thus implicating beta-arrestin 2 as a positive mediator of dopaminergic synaptic transmission and a potential pharmacological target for dopamine-related psychiatric disorders.

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