Mechanisms regulating membrane trafficking of G protein-coupled receptors in the endocytic pathway

Life Sci. 2003 Dec 5;74(2-3):217-24. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2003.09.008.


Endocytic membrane trafficking plays multiple roles in GPCR signaling and regulation. In the past several years much has been learned about molecular mechanisms that mediate and regulate endocytic trafficking of cloned GPCRs expressed in transfected cell lines, and there is accelerating progress toward elucidating the membrane trafficking of GPCRs in native tissues. Current views regarding ligand-induced endocytosis of adrenergic catecholamine and opioid neuropeptide receptors will be reviewed, focusing on recent data suggesting the existence of additional machinery controlling the endocytosis of specific GPCRs via clathrin-coated pits. Evidence that GPCRs are selectively 'sorted' between divergent downstream pathways after endocytosis will be discussed, focusing on recent insight to mechanisms controlling receptor sorting between distinct recycling and non-recycling membrane pathways.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Down-Regulation / physiology
  • Endocytosis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / agonists
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled