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Science. 2008 Jun 27;320(5884):1777-81. doi: 10.1126/science.1157983. Epub 2008 May 22.

Beta-arrestin-mediated localization of smoothened to the primary cilium.

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Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


beta-Arrestins have important roles in the regulation of seven-transmembrane receptors (7TMRs). Smoothened (Smo) is a 7TMR that mediates effects of Hedgehog on developmental processes and whose dysregulation may cause tumorigenesis. beta-Arrestins are required for endocytosis of Smo and signaling to Gli transcription factors. In mammalian cells, Smo-dependent signaling requires translocation to primary cilia. We demonstrated that beta-arrestins mediate the activity-dependent interaction of Smo and the kinesin motor protein Kif3A. This multimeric complex localized to primary cilia and was disrupted in cells transfected with beta-arrestin small interfering RNA. beta-Arrestin 1 or beta-arrestin 2 depletion prevented the localization of Smo to primary cilia and the Smo-dependent activation of Gli. These results suggest roles for beta-arrestins in mediating the intracellular transport of a 7TMR to its obligate subcellular location for signaling.

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