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Mol Cells. 2010 Feb 28;29(2):99-104. doi: 10.1007/s10059-010-0041-z. Epub 2010 Jan 29.

Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors: zooming in on ligand-induced intracellular trafficking and its functional implications.

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Department Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Regulatory processes including receptor phosphorylation and intracellular trafficking, also referred to as receptor internalization, are important processes to terminate G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling. Compelling evidence now indicates that internalization of a receptor is not necessarily the endpoint of signaling, but can also be the beginning of the activation of intracellular signaling pathways. Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptors, which are activated by the endogenous phospholipid S1P, belong to the family of GPCRs. Interestingly, there is evidence indicating differential intracellular trafficking of one of the S1P receptor subtypes, the S1P1 receptor, upon agonist activation by either S1P or the synthetic agonist FTY720-P. Moreover, the differential effect of FTY720-P on S1P1 receptor regulation has been suggested to be the mechanism of action of this drug, which is now in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. It is thus of importance to get a good insight into the regulation of S1P receptors. This review therefore gives a detailed overview about the current state of knowledge on S1P receptor internalization and its functional implications, including some data on nuclear signaling of S1P receptors.

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